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Policy on Irregular Migrants in Malaysia: An Analysis of its Implementation and Effectiveness

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  • Kassim, Azizah
  • Zin, Ragayah Haji Mat

Abstract

In the early 1970s, Malaysia began to be inundated by foreign workers, all of whom were irregular migrants. A decade later their uncontrolled entry left several negative consequences especially to the internal and border security of the country. To overcome the problems, Malaysia introduced the foreign worker policy which became fully implemented in 1992. The policy has two objectives, firstly to regulate the inflow of foreign workers; and secondly, to stem the inflow of irregular migrant workers into the country. The implementation of the policy has led to a spectacular increase in the number of legally recruited migrant workers. However, it has not been able to curb the expansion of irregular migrants; instead their number has risen in parallel with that of legally recruited ones. This report is an attempt to examine why this is so. It is based on a research carried out in 2011 among 404 irregular migrants as respondents, comprising 340 who were apprehended and housed at seven of the 17 holding depots run by the government and 64 others who are still at large.

Suggested Citation

  • Kassim, Azizah & Zin, Ragayah Haji Mat, 2011. "Policy on Irregular Migrants in Malaysia: An Analysis of its Implementation and Effectiveness," Discussion Papers DP 2011-34, Philippine Institute for Development Studies.
  • Handle: RePEc:phd:dpaper:dp_2011-34
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. David, Cristina C. & Intal, Ponciano Jr. S. & Ponce, Eliseo R., 1992. "Organizing for Results: The Philippine Agricultural Sector," Working Papers WP 1992-08, Philippine Institute for Development Studies.
    2. Balisacan, Arsenio M. & Ravago, Majah-Leah V., 2003. "THE rice problem in the Philippines: trends, constraints, and policy imperatives," MPRA Paper 24865, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Otsuki, Tsunehiro*Wilson,John S.*Sewadeh, Mirvat, 2001. "A race to the top? A case study of food safety standards and African exports," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2563, The World Bank.
    4. Liao, Christine Marie & Pasadilla, Gloria O., 2007. "Market Access Limitations of the Philippines in the EU Market," Discussion Papers DP 2007-15, Philippine Institute for Development Studies.
    5. Gloria O. Pasadilla, 2007. "Market Access Limitations of the Philippines in the EU Market," Development Economics Working Papers 22679, East Asian Bureau of Economic Research.
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    Cited by:

    1. Aniceto Orbeta, Jr. & Kathrina Gonzales, 2013. "Managing International Labor Migration in ASEAN : Themes from a Six-Country Study," Labor Economics Working Papers 23422, East Asian Bureau of Economic Research.
    2. Aniceto Orbeta, Jr. & Kathrina Gonzales, 2013. "Managing International Labor Migration in ASEAN : Themes from a Six-Country Study," Governance Working Papers 23422, East Asian Bureau of Economic Research.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    migrant workers; immigration; emigration; foreign workers; irregular migrants; illegal immigrants; legalization; amnesty; deportation; asylum seekers; refugees;

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