How some foreign workers thwart health screening system

mustafar-ali-immigration-1SHAH ALAM: Immigration director-general Mustafar Ali has warned foreign workers that stern action will be taken against those who ask others to go for medical checkups in their stead.

This warning, he said, also extended to employers who were found to be in cahoots with these workers.

“We have identified a percentage of foreign workers who have attempted to fake their medical screenings by getting healthier individuals to take it in their stead,” he said.

He was speaking to reporters after officiating the soft launch of the implementation of the foreign workers’ medical screening for the biometric system at the Foreign Workers’ Medical Examination Monitoring Agency (Fomema) panel clinics.

Although he refused to reveal what this percentage was, he said this was a matter the immigration department took very seriously regardless of how small the percentage was.

He said placing biometric systems at clinics would ensure a second layer of filtration of foreign workers would take place, after the initial layer when they entered the country.

The biometric system requires that foreign workers have their thumbprints scanned, which will then compare the results of that scan with data already compiled by the Malaysian Immigration System (myIMMS).

“This makes it difficult for them to lie about their identities. If the person who comes for the medical screening is not the person he says he is, then action will be taken on both him and the person who sent him. If the employer is found to have been involved, action will be taken against him too.

“We will not compromise on this because we are talking about the health and safety of Malaysians.”

Recently, former director of the Institute of Respiratory Medicine, Abdul Razak Muttalif, claimed that infectious diseases such as tuberculosis (TB), leptospirosis and rabies were making a comeback.

It is believed these diseases were brought in by foreign workers, both documented and illegal.

The biometric system will be implemented at all Fomema panel clinics by October.