KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 15 — Deputy Home Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Mohamed Said said foreign students could be exempted from the requirement of exiting Malaysia in order to renew their expired study visas.
Responding to former education minister Maszlee Malik (Simpang Renggam-PH) who said he received complaints that students must do so, Ismail said the government was sympathetic and offered to assist any students affected.
“The students can come to the Immigration Department to get information and advice. We will not act cruelly to ask them to go out.
“If the honourable member (Maszlee) has data on them, you can give it to me,” he told Dewan Rakyat during oral question time today.
Typically, visa applicants must leave the country and re-enter in order to trigger the administrative process.
Ismail also responded to an additional question from M. Kulasegaran (Ipoh Barat-PH) on why enforcement was still being carried out against undocumented workers and illegal immigrants in the country during the pandemic.
The deputy minister said such action remained necessary “to protect the sovereignty and security of the country.”
He said the government is working with several countries to return undocumented workers so they could be traced and authorised before returning to Malaysia.
“The source country agrees to the repatriation programme. We do not act cruelly. For example, countries like Philippines and Indonesia, we did dozens of home recalibration programmes,” he said, adding that other efforts were ongoing to reduce the number of undocumented migrants in Malaysia. – Malay Mail