The Immigration Department’s operation to weed out illegal immigrant workers is benefiting Nepal.

It has created an opportunity for fresh job seekers, with recruitment agencies in Malaysia looking at source countries, including Nepal, according to The Himalayan Times of Nepal.

The number of Nepali job seekers coming to Malaysia has increased more than two-fold compared with figures from before the crackdown on illegal workers began.

The report said a total of 3,264 Nepalis obtained approval to work in Malaysia from Nepal’s Department of Foreign Employment between July 5 and 11, compared with around 1,400 during the week before the crackdown was initiated.

The Himalayan Times quoted Kumud Khanal, senior vice-president of the Nepal Association of Foreign Employment Agencies, as saying: “Job demand in Malaysia had saturated, as immigrants there used to get work easily without valid work permits before the Immigration Department launched action against them.

“The flow of Nepali foreign job seekers to Malaysia has increased in recent weeks due to the prevailing tension in the Gulf region and the Malaysian government’s action against illegal immigrants.”