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Citing economic concerns, the Malaysian government reversed itself and agreed to extend the work permits of more than 350,000 foreign workers who are registered under the 6P program. The government had originally said the foreign workers had to return to their home countries, but it decided to extend the work permits for one year to avoid the economic consequences of losing more than 350,000 workers in key industries and also to give employers additional time to find replacement workers.

The 6P program, which was implemented in 2011, allowed undocumented foreign workers to register with the Home Ministry and obtain temporary work permits. Foreign workers in the service industry were issued two-year work permits and foreign workers in the manufacturing, construction and farming industries received three-year work permits.