Malaysia proposes over 50 measures to combat terror

Following reports of terror outfits infiltrating universities in the country, the Malaysian Govt has proposed over 50 measures to combat the menace.

Last Updated: Jul 21, 2010, 14:32 PM IST

Kuala Lumpur: Following reports of terror
outfits infiltrating universities in the country, the
Malaysian Government has proposed more than 50 measures to
combat the menace including reducing the number of the huge
foreign work force and reviewing the visa-on-arrival facility
for nationals from selected countries that had terrorist
links.

A laboratory was set up recently to tackle all issues
relating to foreign workers and illegal nationals in the
country.

The Cabinet Committee on Foreign Workers, chaired by
Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, will table the
initiatives when it meets on August 2.

The initiatives include reviewing the visa-on-arrival
programme for nationals from countries that have terrorist or
militant links.

Intelligence departments had submitted recommendations
for the programme to be cancelled for visitors from selected
countries to prevent them from entering Malaysia.

`The New Straits Times` said measures also included
conducting checks on nationals from certain countries to find
out if they have criminal records, especially if they could be
a threat to national security and drug convictions.

This is targeted at nationals from west Africa as drug
syndicates from that part of the world were found operating in
Malaysia, the daily said.

The authorities also want to tighten entry procedures as
some foreigners exploited loopholes to overstay or carry out
illegal activities.

There were many cases of students who abused their passes
and worked illegally in the sex and hospitality industries.

The authorities detained some students for selling drugs
and defrauding people, especially through counterfeit
currencies, the paper said.

Malaysia also wants to gradually reduce its heavy
dependence on foreign workers. It wants to reduce the 1.8
million foreign workers in the country to 1.5 million in three
years. To do this, the government will offer incentives to
employers to hire local workers.

It will provide training for local workers to meet the
level of skills expected by employers, the paper said adding
that there was also a proposal to increase the levy on foreign
workers according to job sectors from early next year.

Employers would pay the levy based on the number of
foreign workers they employ and the length of their
employment.

This will ensure that employers bring in the exact number
of workers needed, and not more.

A source, who was part of this think tank, told the `New
Straits Times` that the laboratory had also conducted a
cost-benefit analysis on hiring foreign workers.

"This was particularly for the manufacturing,
construction, agriculture, services, tourism and plantation
sectors. We also came up with a mechanism to monitor and
manage foreign workers.

"It is crucial to have a database and surveillance system
on foreign workers to ensure that foreigners who work here are
legal and leave the country once their permit expires", he
said.

PTI