KUALA LUMPUR: The Immigration Department has barred the entry of 63,000 foreigners into the country for committing offences under the Immigration Act 1959/1963.
The number includes those with criminal records. They have been blacklisted since Jan 1 this year.
Immigration director-general Mustafar Ali said there was no guarantee that foreigners who had received eVisa and eEntri online could immediately enter the country as screening and checks would be carried out at all 137 land, sea and air entry points.
“I would like to clarify that getting the eVisas, issued by the Immigration Department and vendors involved in administering eVisas and eEntris, is not an absolute guarantee for them (foreigners) to enter the country.
“We will check if they have been found blacklisted or have criminal records at the point of entry.
“We can issue a ‘Not To Land‘ (NTL) notice to stop them from entering the country,” he told Bernama after an interview on Bernama Radio today.
He said those receiving the NTL would be redirected to their country of origin upon arrival at a Malaysian entry point.
Mustafar said his department was working with the police to share intelligence information involving foreigners who had criminal records, or who were involved in terrorist activities that could threaten national security.
“Through the system we have now, we can look at the records of those who have been blacklisted. They could even have abused social visit passes to enter Malaysia to work,” he said.
On Nov 15, police raised the alarm over weaknesses in the eVisa system. This resulted in people who had been blacklisted and who had criminal records entering the country.
Deputy Inspector-General of Police Noor Rashid Ibrahim said the system’s weakness was a major threat to the country and that it would take action following the expose in a local newspaper a day earlier.
Meanwhile, Mustafar said from January until now, 45,000 illegal immigrants had been arrested for various offences under the Immigration Act.