Malaysia mulls deporting detained Bangladeshis

Malaysia wants to deport the undocumented migrants detained in the ongoing crackdown which includes almost 250 Bangladeshis.

The ongoing crackdown began on July 1 after the rehiring programme, which had begun over two years back, ended on June 30.

One of the reasons behind this is that Malaysian authorities have to spend more than 25 million Malaysian Ringgit (MR) per year on meals for illegal immigrants detained at 13 Immigration Department depots nationwide, reported Malaysian news portal Free Malaysia Today, quoting immigration director-general Mustafar Ali as saying.

“The amount does not include utility costs, personnel management and depot maintenance costs” Mustafar added.

An official of Bangladesh high commission in Kuala Lumpur said nearly 600 Bangladeshis are in different Malaysian jails. Besides, some 250 Bangladeshis have been arrested so far in the recent crackdown, he said wishing anonymity as he is not authorised to talk to media.

Bangladesh high commission official told The Daily Star from Kuala Lumpur over phone today that they had instructed the Bangladeshi migrants to apply for regularisation when the rehiring programme began in February 2016. Many have applied for it and were regularised, and many workers are under process of being regularised, he said.

However, many migrants have applied through the agents and sub-agents, but were defrauded, the official added.

“What we are asking to Malaysian authorities is to send those detained without delay without putting in the detention centres,” he said.

According to Mustafar, until July 3, 6,678 illegal immigrants were detained at the depots. Besides, during the “Op Mega 3.0” operation, 1,285 undocumented migrants and 16 employers were detained.

“These would impose a greater financial burden if the illegal immigrants are not immediately deported after being arrested,” he said after attending the department’s monthly assembly in Putrajaya on July 3.

Mustafar said the law division was working hard to ensure those detained were deported immediately without passing the investigation period of between two and 14 days.

Malaysia is home to some one million Bangladeshis.

Source: Daily Star – 4 July 2018