No more North Koreans with expired working permits in Sarawak: Deputy Home Minister

ADIB POVERA

KUCHING: Deputy Home Minister Datuk Masir Kujat has confirmed today that all North Korean workers in Sarawak with expired working permits have been deported to their home country.

He said the foreigners, mostly specialised workers, were rounded up by the State Immigration Department since last month. The New Straits Times learnt that the deportation exercise had begun last week.

“The North Koreans were found to have work in the country without valid permits, All of them have been deported to their country of origin,” said Masir, who is also Sri Aman Member of Parliament, told reporters here today.

He however did not elaborate. The New Straits Times also learnt that more than 50 North Koreans have been rounded by the department in an operation to weed out illegal immigrants in the state.

The North Koreans, who had worked in Sarawak without valid working permits, have been deported in separately in five groups. The last batch of the group had left the state via the Bintulu Airport yesterday.

The group left the state for the Kuala Lumpur International Airport. They will then take another flight to Beijing, China before returning to their home country.

On another matter, Masir said there would be no changes in the existing entry procedures for North Korean workers. This was in line with the statement issued by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, who stressed that diplomatic relationship between Malaysia and North Korean remained intact.

Masir, however, stressed that the North Koreans would only be recruited based on the demand for specialised workers.

He had earlier attended the Sarawak Prison Department’s Excellence Service Awards at Puncak Borneo near here.