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Eligibility for Permanent Residency in Malaysia

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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
READ MORE:  Drop appeal against court's grant of Malaysian citizenship to child with Malaysian father

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?

READ MORE:  Mahathir, descendants of foreigners must not be citizens? What about yourself?

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.

The views expressed in Aliran's media statements and the NGO statements we have endorsed reflect Aliran's official stand. Views and opinions expressed in other pieces published here do not necessarily reflect Aliran's official position.

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Alan lim
Alan lim
3 Feb 2013 10.00am

Go to long houses in Sarawak and (some may) tell you how they need to exchange their beliefs/religion in order to get into primary and secondary school. As the family is poor, it’s best if the kids could stayed in hostel so they don’t need to travel a far distance to school everyday. In order to get into hostel boarding, the condition (allegedly was) they would need to convert their kids beliefs/religion, if not then there will be no place. So the end result, the family not giving in and the children got deprive on the education. I don’t think they are doing this to everyone and this happened years back. Sad and shame when politics still using religion as a tool of bargain. Can’t people just separate the two. Don’t mix religion into politics. It looks really bad. We still respect and treat Islam being the national religion in Malaysia. I see Malay, Chinese, Indians and other races mix so well together and able to live together, but when politics come and backstab the people and create confusion, that is when the problem starts. there… Read more »

27 Jan 2013 11.20pm

never mind on this what about foreign students who can’t even talk a phrase or sentence of English well can be admitted into our both public and private universities in Malaysia….and they get to stay here to do their degree, masters and then God knows what other studies !..They live here for first 4 years and then for next 3 to 5 years and then another 3 years , they have their own people doing business like saloon, second hand car sales and they say ” in this country you can do what you want” and our local kids are striving for a place in universities as they are sharing with these people who buy their seats to the universities …God help Malaysia!!!!!!!! If you don’t believe me just turn your head to the student visa counter at immigration departments.

6 Mar 2013 11.23pm
Reply to  christine


Concerning your criticism of immigrants’ English, please consult your idiom handbook for advice given to “people in glass houses”.

10 Jan 2013 3.50pm


For foreign spouses like me, I know that to get a PR is a long way for us. However, while we are waiting for our PR to be granted, we can still work . Yes! All you need to do is go to the Immigration Office ( Me and hubby went to the branch near Damansara ) and present with you the job offer from the company and then they will ammend your spouse visa. The amendment will revoke the clause that you are not entitled to have any form of employment. That is what happened to me. I am still employed until now and my company is even spared to shoulder the cost of my work permit as my husband’s permit already allows me to have employment…

4 Jan 2013 8.45pm

I am now going to be 23 years old and been living in this country for almost 21 years and I still couldnt manage to get citizenship or PR, BTW my parents ARE citizen. Is the reason for this delay is because I am from India ??

9 Jan 2013 7.15am
Reply to  unperson

Yes and go back to india!

OM Saigal
2 Dec 2012 8.05am

Gopal…It is easy when people-watching to see who is genuine or not(Customs, Police, Prison Officers, Immigration, etc are trained to do so). Ambiga has studied & experienced more than U -there is no substitute for experience. Don’t bluff your way in!!

Kaki Pulau
28 Nov 2012 12.47am

Gopal, you should be grateful that Aliran allowed your tripe to be read on their website. Shows you that Aliran is not afraid of your foolish comments. If you like dirty, money politics, then you also stew in your own sewer, it probably smells worse with all that crony excreta!

Gopal Raj Kumar
23 Nov 2012 2.33pm

I love the “observations” of this fool. “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.”

How on earth can anyone determine from looking at another how long the subject of their observation could have been in a particular country as the quote above suggests?

This is the Ambiga Aliran Pakatan school of thought, credibility and alternative government mindset that seeks to rule Malaysia as a credible alternative to the Barisan.

May you continue to live and fester in your political sewers. Fools. How could Aliran afford to publish such tripe and expect to get away with it?

Kaki Pulau
28 Nov 2012 1.03am

You over react to a small thing. The writer could have been mistaken but at times, observation can be accurate. When you look at people and watch their behavior, it says a lot. It may tell you if they are comfortable being somewhere, if they are newcomers who don’t know their way around or to whom everything is new and they haven’t as yet become used to being in a foreign country. May be this is what the writer of the article means in stating , “…they look like they have been here…”. Perhaps you should use your eyes a bit more, then you’ll understand better and develop less shallow thinking.

3 Dec 2012 12.07am
Reply to  Kaki Pulau

I have been following gopal raj kumar’s comments for some time and he tends to make a mountain of a molehill and deviate from the true meaning of the subject. Making observations based on age and looks may not be accurate but even a moron knows that immigration has been practicing double standards in giving out PR’s and ICs to foreigners for its masters for years.

You dont even need to hang out in immigration every day to know that the foreigners who are being awarded IC’s and PR’s do not meet the minimum standard for qualification.

19 Dec 2012 2.00pm
Reply to  Kaki Pulau

I had seen and listerning all this while you had reply back to me do you trying to instigate me,u see if government is weak as Malaysian u have stand and support them if u a Malay the other race should not get involved if have to think without the Malay u and me will in our country maybe begging plse love Malay and support the government do not reply back again and who u r let me tell u this I’m not shallow or anti social and I know you are not good person my religion had thought me be love and to loved not what u did and a not grateful that you have been staying on Malay land think and open ear and eye come to country u c heaven and hell what is like and u compare malaysia

16 Nov 2012 6.14pm

The only way to make things right and transparent is to vote out the BN government who is abusing every damn thing for their political survival!!!

20 Oct 2012 4.56pm

A young Indonesia man wanted to rent my house in Shah Alam. When I checked his blue IC, I was shocked that his IC 7 digits nomber came before the IC number of 90-year mother! I am familiar with my mother’s IC number as I regularly write the number on share application form. Wonder how to check if our ancestor’s IC been passed to some foreigner

10 Dec 2016 5.02am
Reply to  Sam

Dammmm even British government allow people from other countries including Malaysia to get their citizen and become British citizen . so what is special in Malaysia citizen . people like you must visit england and america to feel the humanity . they will never ask u that lu orng mna . there is a smile on every face for u . police will never ask u to show your passport .

15 Oct 2012 5.53pm

max zhong gave a sweeping remark. that said, i think we know how Indonesian workers managed to obtain blue ICs. Through (allegedly) corrupt officers. These are not fake ICs. these are genuine ICs. So someone (or many of them)inside are (allegedly) making them. I think anyone who sells ICS to foreigners are traitors to the country. Anyway — on the subject of PR for foreign spouses – i think our policies suck bigtime. you know, many foreign husbands are not able to provide for their Malaysian wives because they cannot work or make a living and no one will employ them. Perhaps the government is concerned about the rising number of foreigners who marry locals. ok..if that is the case then take the trouble to deal with applications on a case-to-case basis. consider this — and this is a NO BRAINER. My friend — female, malay/muslim and a dentist who graduated from a Canadian university met and married a Canadian guy. They both settled in Malaysia and have 2 kids. Her husband has been here for almost 10 years and is still to asked to go… Read more »

31 Oct 2012 8.46am
Reply to  bumblebee

That’s pathetic! But the website says there something called Long Term Social Visit Pass (LTSVP)which grant them multiple entry visit upto 5 years and permit to work!
Check this out.

Max Zhong Rival
Max Zhong Rival
15 May 2012 11.51am

Max Zhong need to be careful when saying things like that. Muslim are the not only consist malays but also chinese, indians and other races. and furthermore, although ISA Act has been demolished, u still can be arrested..Akta Hasutan. be careful bro..

19 Dec 2012 1.45pm

Hello max are a racist,be grateful to your government come our and stay and see Singapore thank you to the malay with them you and me will be begging in china and Afghanistan thank you be grateful to the malay

Max Zhong
Max Zhong
10 Aug 2011 10.51am

It is very simple. As long as you are Muslim, can speak passing Indonesian or Malay, (allegedly) guarantee Citizenship for you. We need “you” to bolster “Malay” population count. Been doing it openly for year in Sabah. Only recently (allegedly) more overt back in Peninsular. Too bad you only just catch on now. Too late.

9 Aug 2011 10.05pm

The law is on the paper only, when the money paper talks laws bends!

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