11 Cosplayers Arrested on Alleged Immigration Violations in Malaysia

posted on by Lynzee Loveridge

The Malaysian Immigration Department (Jabatan Imigresen Malaysia; JIM) arrested multiple cosplayers attending an anime convention at a hotel in the nation's capital of Kuala Lumpur on Saturday. JIM reviewed a total of 52 participants suspected of abusing social visit passes and work permits to attend the event, according to immigration director Hamidi Adam. The raid ended with the arrest of 11 visitors from other countries and one local man.

The arrested individuals were identified as five Japanese nationals, three Singaporean nationals, two Thai nationals, and one person from Hong Kong.

"Investigations have revealed that the detained foreigners have been in the country for a few days using a social visit pass. However, some have also misused work permits given to participate in the festival," he said.

Malaysia issues short term social visit passes for seeing friends and family, tourism, journalism, business meetings, attending seminars, sports competitions, and some other work-related reasons like scoping out a site to build a factory.

The country has its own guidelines for foreign work visas and such visas are issued exclusively for work in the manufacturing, construction, plantation, agriculture, and services sectors. Foreign worker visas are also limited based on nationality; the country does not list Singapore, Japan, or Hong Kong and China as approved source countries. Thailand is on the approved list for all of the approved work sectors.

The convention itself was also being held without permission from PUSPAL, the Central Agencies Committee for Applications for Filming and Performances by Foreign Artistes, according to Hamidi Adam. PUSPAL decides whether or not a foreign artist can perform, or whether a foreign movie can be filmed, in Malaysia. PUSPAL defines a performance as as "any artistic and cultural activities carried out in relation to the performing arts, whether in closed or open premises and whether entrance fees are charged or not." This includes performances which take place in hotels, like the aforementioned convention.

Source: Harian Metro (Mohd Azam Shah Yaacob)

Photo by Zukiman Mohamad from Pexels

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