ILLEGAL foreign workers are flooding the domestic labour market with industry players estimating that one in two foreign workers in Malaysia is illegal. It is also estimated that 60% of the illegals in the country are part-time workers hopping from job to job. It is a big question mark whether the immigration department, which is conducting a blitz on illegals, is able to flush out those who are not under the fixed-term employment of any employer. Without a work permit and special skills, these illegal workers would hop from job to job or from one temporary employer to another depending on which job or who can offer more wages. Some of them also engage in criminal activities, thus contributing to social problems, Nanyang Siang Pau reported today. Commenting on the immigration department's crackdown on illegal immigrants, which netted more than 1,000 on the first day (July 1) alone, SME Association of Malaysia president Michael Kang told the daily that more than 60% of the illegal foreign workers in the country do not have a permanent employer. Some among the more enterprising illegal immigrants have became petty traders, he said, adding that this had been the phenomenon for at least the past five years. He urged the government to deal with the issue of illegal foreign workers properly, including repatriating those arrested under the current operation. Meanwhile, Malaysian Furniture Council president Chua Chun Chai said there are about 1.85 million legal foreign workers and an equal number of illegal ones in Malaysia. He said most of the illegal foreign workers are without fixed-term employment. "One in two foreign workers is illegal, which explains why one sees a lot of foreign workers engaged in odd jobs," he said. Many foreigners are found to have taken up jobs although they entered Malaysia using student visas, Chua said, adding that when their visas expired, they add to the statistics of illegal foreign workers.