The implementation of development corridor project is expected to lead to a significant increase in the number of foreign workers in the country, said Immigration Director General Datuk Wahid Md Don.
Wahid said there are currently 2.02 million foreigners working in various sectors in Malaysia and the figure will escalate once the development corridor is launched.
He however assured that his department is aware and fully prepared to face the greater challenges awaiting them.
He said with more foreign workers coming in, the department’s task to monitor their entry would not only become more difficult but also more significant, as it is vital to ensure safety is maintained and the investors remain confident.
To ensure the government development programme is carried out smoothly, the department must also make sure that problems will not lead to a shortage of workers.
In this regard, he said the department officers and staff need to be not only efficient and fast but also thorough in doing their job.
For example, he said, the issuance of identification documents to foreign workers as well as the Immigration I-Card to expatriates must be done as fast as possible to avoid any difficulties or delays in the project implementation.
“The Immigration not only needs to carry out their responsibility in ensuring safety but also to provide customer-friendly services and not to make it difficult for the investors,” he said.
The actual number of foreign workers needed for the development corridor will depend on the study to be conducted by a committee on foreign workers in the Cabinet, said Wahid.
“The study will be conducted by Human Resource Ministry, in which the Immigration Department will act as one of its pilot committees,” he said after officiating the Immigration Day 2007 at the Federal Administration Complex in Jalan Sulaman yesterday.
The event also saw the department launching its Passport Kiosk which enables the public to renew their international passports without having to go through service counter.
Wahid said that apart from reducing congestion at the service counter, the new services provided through the kiosk are meant to enhance the delivery system and ensure much more convenience for the customers.
He said the use of the new services has been tested and proven successful after two of such kiosks were introduced in the federal capital two years ago.
On average, 200 passport holders use the kiosks daily, he said.
In addition to Kota Kinabalu, four other kiosks, two in Johor and one each in Pulau Pinang and Perak were launched yesterday.
Also present at the event were Federal Secretary Datuk Ismail Wadin and State Immigration Director Datuk Baharon Talib.