Immigrants are divided into two categories which are immigrants who come into a country with permission by using legal and valid documents and then there are also immigrants who come into a country without permission and any valid or legal documents. These types of people are called illegal immigrants. Illegal immigrants refer to people that migrate into a country illegally in search of a job or a continued residence of people without legal right to live in that country due to the violation of the immigration laws of that country. Malaysia has always become the source of income or a gold mine for these illegal immigrants. It is no longer new news for Malaysians. Most of these illegal immigrants came from Malaysia’s neighboring country especially Indonesia, Bangladesh, and Myanmar. The number of illegal immigrants keeps on increasing and became noticeable in the 1980s in Malaysia according to reliable sources found on the internet. Most media assume that they are over two million illegal immigrants here staying and working in Malaysia. They came to Malaysia to earn money so they can support themselves and their family back in their hometown. The increasing number of illegal immigrants flooding in Malaysia has been quite alarming and also has caused concern among the citizens and the country. This is because the increasing number of illegal immigrants that are staying and working in Malaysia will give a negative effect or impact on Malaysians whether politically, economically, and socially. The increasing number of illegal immigrants in Malaysia is due to various factors that drive their attraction to come to Malaysia.
The main reason for this scenario is the employment opportunities obtained in Malaysia. Countries such as Indonesia, Bangladesh, Myanmar, and the Philippines have a high population that the government is not able to manage the welfare of its people well. For example, the population of Indonesia is as much as 350 million and the unemployment rate is very high. This has caused most of the people in Indonesia are living a hard life and some of them even struggles to put food on their table each day for their families. Even though most of the citizens are well educated, most of them couldn’t even find or secure a job for themselves after completing their studies because of the limited job opportunity that the country has to offer. Not to mention the uneducated and illiterate citizens, they do not have the slightest opportunity to get a job. The slow economic development in their country has led to rising unemployment and poverty. These limited employment opportunities also provide low wage rates and this forces them to go to other countries to find jobs and they are willing to do any job as long as they are getting paid. Local employers also welcome them to because these illegal immigrants are usually getting paid lower salaries compared to local workers due to their status as illegal immigrants in the country. Most Malaysians refuse to work in these sectors that are considered burdensome for them such as agriculture, plantation, and construction. Malaysians are too picky about choosing their jobs or career and some of them are even willing to become unemployed for a long period of time, thus why all these illegal immigrants are the ones flooding in these types of sectors. Other than that, the increasing number of illegal immigrants migrating to Malaysia is because of the prosperity of the country. Malaysia is a peaceful and harmonious country. Malaysia is free from racial riots and wars compared to foreign countries where there are constant wars and riots in their countries. Malaysia practices the spirit of unity between the races. Although there are various races and religions in Malaysia no conflict occurs. Our country’s safety is the main attraction for these illegal immigrants to work here. Stable political and economic conditions guarantee the comfort of these illegal immigrants to migrate, stay and work here. Furthermore, Malaysia has never experienced natural disasters such as hurricanes and volcanoes. This disaster has occurred in foreign countries that threaten their lives. Therefore, to ensure their safety, illegal immigrants choose to migrate to Malaysia.
As Malaysia is a country surrounded by oceans, its overly coastal conditions cause limited control from the authorities. For example, along the west coast of Peninsular Malaysia is a landing area for foreign workers without a permit to work in Malaysia. They were able to come by boat to cross the country’s waters. The department tasked with controlling the influx of foreign workers is also still lacking enforcement to conduct patrols and raids. This situation has caused many foreign workers to enter our country illegally, freely without being detected. For example, most of the patrols carried out failed to find the foreign workers who largely made it into the Straits of Malacca a safe route to our country. Next, their culture and way of life are the same as Malaysians resulting in their desire to work abroad. Malaysians also have a culture that is not too different or similar to these illegal immigrants’ culture from their country of origin. Their culture and way of life in terms of food, clothing, tradition, and language contribute to the reasons they are able to stay in Malaysia while doing work as well as socializing with fellow Malaysians like their own families. They will also not feel isolated in Malaysia and they feel like they are staying and working in their own country of origin.
In an effort to curb the presence of illegal immigrants, the authorities should increase control and surveillance along the coasts and borders of Malaysia. The marine, immigration, and navy police must join forces and act in an integrated manner. These parties should be more active in tracking down places of encroachment to block the entry of illegal immigrants. They should conduct more frequent inspections in easily enclosed border areas. Such efforts will make it difficult for illegal immigrants to enter and reduce the number of illegal immigrants in our country. Next, the police also need to increase law enforcement in relation to foreign workers, especially those who enter without permission. Authorities should always monitor the masterminds and syndicates that manage the entry of these illegal immigrants. Those arrested should be given severe punishment including mandatory punishment such as giving them fines. These detained illegal immigrants should be subject to strict legal action so that they do not repeat the offense committed.