Imagine a private company doing the work of the Immigration Department. How could this happen and why did the department allow this weird practise. Even before investigations commence, it is probable a tidy sum must have been made by the company and the officers would have been compensated for this nefarious way to send back foreigners. How many have gone back on forged or improper travel documents. The Immigration chief must have been sleeping on his job, and somebody must wake him with a jolt to bring the officers involved for disciplinary action. Of course, the boss must be disciplined first before those under him are punished.
Overstayers hearing a different story now
By Marc Lourdes
KUALA LUMPUR: The three Bangladeshi workers sat morosely at the mamak restaurant, sipping their teh-o. They had just gone to a travel agent and been told that they would have to pay RM2,000 to return home.
The news had deflated the men — all of whom had overstayed in Malaysia. They were shocked to learn it would cost that much to leave the country.
Early last month, Immigration Department director-general Datuk Mahmood Adam had announced that overstayers could leave the country by paying a nominal compound of RM300, plus another RM100 for a special exit pass. But they are now told that they would need to pay RM1,300 as processing fee.
"Many of us want to go home, but we can’t afford to pay such a large sum," said one of the workers, who identified himself as Majibur.
The KLIA Immigration office told the New Straits Times that all "processing" could only be done through a company called Gerbang Majuindah.
The officer handling the phone call seemed bemused why a private company was doing the job of the Immigration Department.
"We are surprised why the foreign workers can’t do it directly with us," he said.
"Whenever they come to us, we send them to Gerbang Majuindah."
Gerbang Majuindah was registered in November 2007 as a general trading company.
Located at the Pandan Indah Commercial Park, it has two directors, Mohamadu Sathikul Amin Mohamed Ismail and Zakir Hussain Abdul Caffor.
The company has a share capital of RM1,000,000, divided between the two directors, with Zakir holding 69 per cent and Sathikul 29 per cent, while two others have a share each.
Zakir said the project was awarded by the Home Ministry to his "boss", Mohd Mustapha AK Ismail, through the latter’s company, Pangkal Rezeki Sdn Bhd.
He added that the minimum "processing" fee was RM900 and insisted that overstayers who went through his company did not have to go through the regular Immigration procedures. He blamed travel agents for hiking the fee up to RM1,600.
Pangkal Rezeki’s nature of business is registered as "exporters’ investments". The main men behind it are Mustapha and a Datuk Hassan Che Abas.
When asked about this, Mahmood said: "This is something new to me and it looks funny. We have also received a protest letter from an Indonesian non-governmental organisation on this matter."
He said an internal committee had been set up to investigate the issue.
"Overstayers can’t just pay a processing fee and go home. They have to surrender to us. We will open investigation papers, refer the case to the prosecutor and take it to the Immigration court."
Mahmood said the compound was not a nominal RM300, as had been reported earlier.
"The actual compound is more. For those who overstay for more than one month, the compound is RM3,000.
"However, the offenders can appeal and if there’s a valid reason, we can minimise or even waive the fine."
Malaysian Trades Union Congress vice-president A. Balasubramaniam is livid over the issue.
"Who appointed this company? Who approved them? Why can’t foreigners go directly to the Immigration Department? If they don’t expedite the repatriation of foreigners, how can vacancies be made for locals?"
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