Eligibility for Permanent Residency in Malaysia

A parliamentary committee should be immediately set up to conduct an impartial inquiry into the awards of PR and citizenship. On what basis are some foreign workers being given PR or citizenship, wonders The Discontented.

Source: Abella & Duncanes, 2009 http://internationalbusiness.wikia.com

For years now, foreign spouses have been voicing out their grievances about the Immigration Department dragging their feet in giving them PR. Many professional spouses were forced to leave the country, to where they can enjoy the right to reside and employment without restrictions.

Those of us spouses still in the country had given up hope and could only expect PR posthumously (ie by being buried in this country!).

Only recently under the present Home Minister and thanks to him, the backlog of PR applications has been cleared; many who have lived in the country for decades were finally given PR. As per a media release ,all PR applications submitted until 2009 have been cleared.

Some who have been visiting the Immigration Department at Putrajaya on a fairly regular basis, have noticed that since 2009, there has been a large number of Indonesian male workers who are in their 40s at the counter for Permit Masuk (Entry Permits) – to be specific Counters 2 and 3 receiving and submitting their documents. But it is highly unlikely that these men fall under any of the categories for PR as provided by Immigration,.

The Immigration website clearly indicates the ways in which one can get Permanent Residency Status in Malaysia, as per the Immigration Act and Regulations 1959/63

  1. Individual Investor with minimum US$2m Fixed Deposit in Malaysia (High Net Worth Individual)
  2. Expert (Highly Talented and High Skilled Individual)
  3. Professional
  4. Spouse of Malaysian Citizen
  5. Application for Permanent Resident Through Point-Based System
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Spouses have to be accompanied by their Malaysian spouses, so one can easily recognise this category of persons submitting documents for PR.

As recent as July 2011, on a particular visit and within a three-hour duration at immigration, it was noticed that there were around five spouses of various nationalities waiting. And at least 20-25 such persons, Indonesian male workers within the age group of 35-45, were present; only two of them were over the age of 50 years and looked like they could have been in the country for five years and above.

Ask some of the contractors in the housing or building industry, they will tell you that many of their Indonesian workers are allegedly getting PR. Some of them have not resided in the country for more than three years; it is known that some of them have blue ICs.

Oh, just for information, foreign spouses with Malaysian families are eligible to apply for PR, after they have been on five, one-year long-term social pass, after about seven years. Then it depends on who is approving the PR; under the previous Home Minister, some spouses residing in the country even up to 40 years were waiting for their PR.

Then again, spouses with Malaysian children who are widowed or in estranged marriages get their PR applications withdrawn. They are required to have a sponsor to secure a visa to live in the country, perpetuating a situation of dependency. This pass does not allow the person to be employed, how then are they supposed to earn a living to support themselves and their families in dignity?

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On the other end of the spectrum, if these workers are being given PR, they will have the right to reside and be employed and though PR does not allow voting rights, who knows how citizenship has been fast tracked and these people perhaps even vote for the political masters who have given them PR and citizenship. An informal chat with some officers revealed that these people allegedly come with political recommendations.

Perhaps all this needs verification and a parliamentary committee should be immediately called to conduct an impartial inquiry and an audit as to the number of PR and citizenships awarded, their gender, nationality and under which category they come under. On what basis are these workers being given PR or citizenship?

The Discontented is the pseudonym of an Aliran website reader.

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