The Sun (Malaysia) - - FRONT PAGE -

of such er­rant em­ploy­ers will be made pub­lic at the end of the month.

“Ac­tion will be taken in stages against these of­fend­ers,” he told re­porters af­ter at­tend­ing a di­a­logue ses­sion with ser­vice in­dus­try per­son­nel and em­ploy­ers yes­ter­day.

Un­der Sec­tion 55B of the RE­PORT ON Im­mi­gra­tion Act 1959/63, any­one found guilty of em­ploy­ing one or more il­le­gal im­mi­grants is li­able to a fine of up to RM50,000 or jailed up to a year, or both, for each il­le­gal em­ployee.

On the num­ber of com­pa­nies on the list, Musta­far said he could not re­veal such in­for­ma­tion at the mo­ment as the mat­ter was still be­ing dis­cussed with the At­tor­neyGen­eral’s Cham­bers.

He re­it­er­ated his ear­lier warn­ing that the Im­mi­gra­tion Depart­ment will also freeze the as­sets and bank ac­counts of such em­ploy­ers in the in­dus­trial sec­tor who hire and har­bour il­le­gal

for­eign work­ers.

Al­though such ac­tion had never been en­forced, it is pro­vided un­der Sec­tion 56(1) of the Im­mi­gra­tion Act.

On an­other mat­ter, Musta­far (pix) said Im­mi­gra­tion of­fi­cers who take bribes, as well as those of­fer­ing bribes, will face the full brunt of the law.

Com­ment­ing on a re­port that a group of Im­mi­gra­tion of­fi­cers had ac­cepted bribes of RM200 to RM2,500 to al­low the en­try and exit of more than 16,000 for­eign na­tion­als, he said the root cause lies with those who of­fer bribes.

“If no one is giv­ing, then no one will take,” he said, adding that four of­fi­cers al­legedly in­volved in the case have been charged while more are be­ing in­ves­ti­gated and mon­i­tored.

It was al­leged that the group of 37 of­fi­cers had col­lected a to­tal of about RM18 mil­lion in bribes from il­le­gal im­mi­grants.

“We will come down hard on those who give as well as our of­fi­cers who re­ceive bribes,” said Musta­far, who pledged the depart­ment will be trans­par­ent and will not tol­er­ate cor­rup­tion.

“We have to clean up our act in­ter­nally, but at the same time, we don’t want peo­ple of­fer­ing bribes to tempt our staff,” he added.

A diver at­taches pieces of coral to an un­der­wa­ter struc­ture to grow reefs in the wa­ters off Pu­lau Tioman, Pa­hang.

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