PETALING JAYA: Newly-appointed Immigration Director-General Mustafar Ali has clarified that a ruling for Muslim families to hire only Muslim maids was merely a general guideline “with many exceptions and considerations”.
In a text to FMT, Mustafar stressed that he had never issued such a statement which drew many brickbats and pointed out that the general circular was in existence before he was appointed to lead the department.
The department, he added, will continue to provide assistance and facilitate both employers and employees as before.
“The said circular is not a strict rule. I want to further assure all Muslim employers that their request, application or appeal will be given due consideration.
“All parties’ requests will be fairly attended to accordingly.”
Earlier today, Star Online reported that the Immigration Department had enforced the ruling that had been in existence for some time.
An unnamed maid agency owner quoted in the report said she was told by immigration officers at a department counter that the policy was a directive from the new director-general.
This led to some criticising Mustafar, including MCA Religious Harmony Bureau Chairman Ti Lian Ker, who said that rules should not be made or enforced at his “whims” and “fancies”.
Rules based on sentiment, Ti cautioned, could cause additional cost, hardship and inconvenience to the people and should be avoided.
Later, when contacted Ti said he was glad that the DG had cleared the air.
“This is a non-issue now.
“It is unfair to criticise Mustafar over something that had existed way before he was made the DG. It’s time we move on,” he said, adding that he and Mustafar had discussed the matter.