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Malaysia to Commence Major Crackdown on Illegal Immigrants

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  • Malaysia to Commence Major Crackdown on Illegal Immigrants

Malaysia’s Immigration will commence major crackdown on illegal immigrants tomorrow, August 31, the first under the current administration.

The amnesty program introduced by the Pakatan Harapan government, which enables illegal immigrants to pay a Rm 300 (US$99.70) fine and then pay another Rm 100 fee for a special pass allowing them to return home, will end today, (August 30).

But local manufacturers and business owners say they are worried that the “uncertainty” over the foreign worker policy may hurt their ability to manage operations.

There were more than 1.7 million foreigners working in Malaysia legally at the end of June last year, but with estimates that a further one million or more, are working in the country illegally.

It is this large undocumented group that is the target of the government’s occasional crackdowns.

Malaysia is a magnet for migrant workers from countries such as Indonesia, Nepal and Bangladesh due to the ease of getting jobs and a largely lax immigration enforcement.

These workers help to construct high-rise towers, pluck palm oil fruits and harvest vegetables in plantations, clean malls and offices, and guard residential areas.
Immigration director general Mustafar Ali said : “The amnesty deadline will not be extended. We will intensify our operations against illegal immigrants starting on Friday.

“We have given them ample time to sign up for the programme.

“Illegal immigrants are still heading to our offices around the country in a bid to obtain amnesty and return home.”

Datuk Seri Mustafar said the operations against illegal immigrants are an ongoing process with some 9,208 raids conducted between January and Aug 15.

“We have arrested 28,063 illegal immigrants and 799 employers so far.

“Starting tomorrow (Friday), our efforts will only increase as we aim to free the country of illegal immigrants,” he said.

From 2014 until Aug 1 this year, some RM400 million in fines have been collected from over 840,000 migrants who worked or overstayed in Malaysia.

They were expatriated at their own cost under the amnesty programme, Mr Mustafar said.

Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers president Soh Thian Lai said local manufacturers might face difficulties in coping with client orders if the uncertainty over foreign workerremained unresolved.

The government over the years has vacillated between throwing out all foreigners who work in Malaysia without proper documents, to offering long amnesty periods to allow employers to register their workers.

The previous Barisan Nasional government allowed for an extension of three years for foreign workers who had 10 years experience, but the Pakatan Harapan government has dropped this rule.

Said Datuk Soh: “Insufficient supply of foreign workers could affect output and businesses, especially those with experienced workers. Foreign workers with set skills and experience would be difficult to replace.”

Datuk Michale Kang, president of SME Association of Malaysia that represents small and medium sized enterprises, said the association has received many complaints from members.

“SMEs in the manufacturing sector will be the ones affected badly. With fewer workers and no new solution and policy in sight, they may not be able to cope with their orders in the coming months,” he said.

“The amnesty programme is ending, but what is the new system or policy in place? The new government said it would come out with a policy to address the foreign labour issue so that it will not affect the economy.”

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Businessinsider, Nasdaq, Entrepreneur.com, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

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Spain Triumphs in Euro 2024 Final, Defeats England with Last-Minute Winner

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Spain clinched their fourth European Championship title with a thrilling 2-1 victory over England, thanks to a last-minute goal from Mikel Oyarzabal.

The dramatic finale at Berlin’s Olympiastadion on Sunday saw Spain’s dominance throughout the tournament crowned with a well-deserved win, while England suffered their second consecutive final defeat.

The match began cautiously, with Spain controlling 65% of possession in the first half but failing to capitalize on their dominance.

England’s Phil Foden had the only shot on target, reflecting a tense and tightly contested opening period.

The breakthrough came just two minutes into the second half when teenager Lamine Yamal, who had been effectively contained in the first half, found space down the right wing.

His precise cross met Nico Williams, who slotted the ball past England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford, giving Spain a 1-0 lead.

Spain enjoyed a period of sustained pressure following the goal, with Dani Olmo, Alvaro Morata, and Williams all coming close to extending their lead.

England’s previously solid defense appeared to be losing its shape under the relentless Spanish attacks.

In response, England manager Gareth Southgate made strategic substitutions, bringing on Ollie Watkins and Cole Palmer.

The changes paid off when Jude Bellingham set up Palmer, who curled a low shot from 20 meters out into the net in the 73rd minute, leveling the score and igniting hope among the English fans.

The match seemed destined for extra time until a lapse in England’s defense allowed Spain to strike again. Marc Cucurella, left unmarked on the left flank, delivered a cross into the box.

Oyarzabal, who had come on as a substitute, stretched to poke the ball home, securing Spain’s victory four minutes from the end.

The final moments of the game saw frantic action, with Spain’s goalkeeper Unai Simon making a crucial save from a Declan Rice header, and Dani Olmo clearing a follow-up effort off the line. Despite England’s late surge, Spain held firm to secure the 2-1 win.

Spain manager Luis de la Fuente expressed his pride in his team after the match. “I couldn’t be happier. This confirms what we are. For me, they are the best in the world,” he said.

England, who had fought back from a goal down for the fourth consecutive match in the tournament, were left to rue missed opportunities and defensive lapses.

Southgate, who has led England to two Euro finals and a World Cup semi-final during his tenure, acknowledged the team’s effort but conceded Spain’s superiority.

“The players have got to take enormous credit for getting us to the point they did. They fought and represented the shirt with pride. But I think Spain were the best team in the tournament and they deserved to win,” Southgate said.

Spain’s victory adds a fourth European Championship title to their collection, following wins in 1964, 2008, and 2012.

As only the third team in the last nine Euros to win the trophy without a penalty shootout, Spain’s triumph cements their place as one of the dominant forces in European football.

Meanwhile, England’s wait for a major tournament victory continues, extending their “30 years of hurt” since their 1966 World Cup win to at least double that number.

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Nigerians Paid $1.26 Billion in Bribes Last Year, Survey Shows

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A recent survey by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has revealed the extent of bribery in Nigeria with citizens paying an estimated N721 billion or $1.26 billion in cash bribes in 2023.

The report highlights a significant discrepancy between rural and urban areas, with rural residents bearing a higher burden of bribe payments.

According to the NBS report, “The frequency of bribery is, on average, higher in rural areas than in urban areas. In 2023, bribe-payers living in urban areas paid on average 4.5 bribes, while those living in rural areas paid on average 5.8 bribes.”

This extensive bribery, amounting to 0.35% of Nigeria’s GDP, shows the persistent challenge of corruption in Africa’s most populous nation.

Despite various government pledges to combat corruption, public officials continue to demand and receive bribes to perform their duties, affecting the delivery of essential public services.

The survey, conducted between October and November, indicates that the estimated number of bribes exchanged decreased from 117 million in 2019 to 87 million in 2023.

This decline appears to be linked to reduced interactions with public officials, which dropped from 63% of the population in 2019 to 53% in 2023.

Bribery was most prevalent among prosecutors, land registry officers, and customs and immigration officials, with judges and magistrates receiving the largest kick-backs.

Despite anti-corruption promises by successive governments, public officials have developed a reputation for converting public funds for personal use and demanding gratifications for performing their functions.

The NBS report also notes a growing resistance to bribery among Nigerians, with 23% refusing to pay bribes when demanded.

This defiance is partly fueled by the ongoing cost-of-living crisis, exacerbated by currency reforms and the partial removal of a gasoline subsidy, which has heightened economic hardship.

The survey participants ranked corruption fourth on their list of priorities, behind economic hardship, insecurity, and unemployment.

Interestingly, bribe payments in the private sector more than doubled in 2023, though public-sector corruption remains dominant in the West African nation.

The data reveals that less than a third of Nigerians believe the government is effective in fighting corruption, a stark decline from more than half in 2019 during former President Muhammadu Buhari’s tenure.

Buhari, first elected in 2015 on promises to end corruption, left office with the nation still grappling with pervasive bribery and corruption.

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PSG Ready to Splash €200 Million on Napoli Stars Osimhen and Kvaratskhelia

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Victor Osimhen

Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) has reportedly set its sights on Napoli’s dynamic duo, Victor Osimhen and Khvicha Kvaratskhelia.

According to reports emerging from Italy, PSG is prepared to table €200 million bid to secure the services of these coveted talents.

The French giants, having recently seen Kylian Mbappe depart for Real Madrid, are keen to bolster their attacking prowess.

Osimhen, renowned for his blistering pace and clinical finishing, has emerged as a prime target.

The Nigerian striker’s performances have garnered attention from top Premier League clubs like Arsenal, Manchester United, and Chelsea.

However, Napoli’s steadfast insistence on Osimhen’s €130 million release clause has thus far deterred potential suitors.

Kvaratskhelia, the Georgian winger who dazzled alongside Osimhen during Napoli’s triumphant Serie A campaign, has also captured PSG’s attention.

Named Serie A Player of the Year, Kvaratskhelia’s electrifying pace and creativity on the wing have made him a sought-after commodity in European football.

Despite PSG’s substantial bid, Napoli remains resolute in their stance.

The Italian club rebuffed a €110 million offer for Kvaratskhelia earlier in the summer and is unlikely to entertain PSG’s current proposal, even with Osimhen included in the deal.

Sources close to the negotiations suggest that if Osimhen does make a move, Napoli is poised to secure Romelu Lukaku as his replacement.

The Belgian striker, currently with Chelsea, has reportedly agreed to terms with Napoli and expressed his eagerness to reunite with manager Antonio Conte.

Osimhen, meanwhile, harbors ambitions of playing in the Premier League, but PSG’s €200 million bid may force Napoli to reconsider their position.

Nevertheless, the Italian club’s resolve to retain their star players remains firm, leaving the footballing world on edge as the transfer saga unfolds.

PSG’s pursuit of Osimhen and Kvaratskhelia underscores their determination to strengthen their squad ahead of the new season, aiming to reclaim domestic glory and mount a serious challenge in European competitions.

As negotiations continue, all eyes are on Napoli’s response and whether PSG’s record-breaking bid will sway the Serie A club’s resolve.

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