The Royal Thai Embassy in Kuala Lumpur has warned Thai nationals in Malaysia about the new governments' crackdown on illegal immigrants from July 1, following the termination of Malaysia's "Rehiring Programme" for illegal immigrants.
Malaysian officers under the crackdown codenamed "Ops Mega 3.0" will reportedly arrest illegal workers and their employers. They may face fines of up to 50,000 ringgit (Bt410,000), five years in jail and six cane strokes, according to the Thai Labour Office's Facebook page (facebook.com/ThaiEmbassyKL/).
It urged Thai workers who had already applied to the programme and were pending approval to ask their employers to contact the Malaysian Immigration Bureau for updates of the progress while calling for illegal workers, who had not joined the programme, to return to Thailand legally.
Those who later find that they are not eligible under the Rehiring Programme can also submit to the voluntary surrender "3+1 Programme" that will run until August 30 to return to Thailand voluntarily.
To apply to 3+1, each illegal Thai worker must pay a fine, buy a special pass for 400 ringgits and a ticket to Thailand, the office said.
The 2016 Rehiring Programme received applications from 744,942 illegal migrants by May 28, the statement said. Of these, 307,557 applicants qualified for work permits but over half of them were still pending medical certificates from the Foreign Workers Medical Examination Monitoring Agency (Fomema).
Only 110,489 immigrants were granted work permits, the Facebook post said.