AT least 687 Filipino workers in Kota Kinabalu in Malaysia are facing deportation as their passports needed to renew their working permits are being “hostaged” by the Philippine embassy.
Juvy Ranjit, a Filipina-Malaysian businesswoman based in Sabah said the passport application of the said Filipinos, who are mostly working in palm plantation in Malaysia, is already long overdue.
She said the passport application of the said Filipinos were already completed and submitted to the Philippine embassy since last year.
“But until now, the passports are not yet released. The Philippine embassy always referred us to the Department of Foreign Affairs [DFA] to follow up,” Ranjit told reporters when she visited the DFA on Friday to file her appeal before the Office of Consular Affairs.
Ranjit is the owner of recruitment agencies Pinoy Resources and Agensi Pekerjaan Cahaya Pelita Sdn. Bhd, which processed the passport application of the Filipino workers.
She said some of the working permits of the said Filipino workers are about to expire and that they could be arrested by Malaysian authorities if they failed to renew it.
“Some of them are into hiding because they fear to be arrested, detained and later deported,” Ranjit added.
She also blamed Philippine Ambassador to Malaysia Eduardo Malaya for the delay saying that she was just being harassed by the latter because of their “personal differences.”
Ranjit also cried foul on the move by the Philippine embassy recommending her companies to be blacklisted in Malaysia.
She was referring to the letter of Philippine Consul John Francis Herrera to Datuk Suhaimi Salleh, director of the Federal Special Task Force for Sabah and Labuan, stating that her companies have numerous complaints.
“I wish to inform your office that the below mentioned agency [Pinoy Resources] is not accredited with this Embassy and also subject of numerous complaints,” Herrera said in his letter to Datuk Suhaimi.