PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF) has denied an allegation by Sungai Siput MP Dr Michael Jeyakumar that employers are hiding illegal migrant workers to cut their business costs.
MEF executive director Shamsuddin Bardan, however, admitted there were many illegal migrants working in the country but pointed out that not all of them worked for employers.
“Many of the foreign migrants are working on their own, running small businesses and sometimes even large businesses in complexes.
“Their status is ambiguous, and it is not known whether they came in legally or not. Normally, if they were hired and brought to Malaysia by their employers, they would be working in specified sectors,” he said when contacted by FMT today.
Jeyakumar made the accusation following a report by Bernama that a total of 36,872 illegal migrants had been deported to their countries of origin since the launch of Ops Mega in January this year by the Immigration Department.
He told FMT that 36,872 was less than 1% of the figures the government had been citing.
“The government has been saying that there are two million legal foreign workers and between three and four million illegals,” he said.
“Obviously, these huge numbers of illegal migrants are not living on charity and must be employed.”
Shamsuddin said many of the illegal migrants were doing business in certain locations.
Since this was known, he said the government should be taking action against them because they should not be in the country.
“Whether they are employed, working on their own or doing business, they should not be in Malaysia without permission, and available business opportunities should be given to Malaysian citizens,” he added.