Indonesia, Bangladesh, Nepal agree to Malaysia’s repatriation proposal

New technologies to enhance Malaysia's airports security include facial recognition. Photo: Free Malaysia Today. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

KUALA LUMPUR, May 30, 2020, ANTARA. Malaysia highlighted the agreement of the governments of Indonesia, Bangladesh, and Nepal to its proposal to repatriate their illegal migrant workers and undocumented citizens that tested negative for the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), ANTARA reported.

The Malaysian government expressed gratitude to the three nations for the agreed repatriations of their undocumented workers and citizens, Malaysia’s Defence Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob noted in a press statement that ANTARA quoted in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday.

Some 4,399 undocumented migrant workers currently reside in the detention centers of the Malaysian immigration authorities in Bukit Jalil, Semenyih, and the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) has completed their COVID-19 medical examination, he revealed.

Some 13 undocumented migrant workers and citizens are currently housed at the Semenyih detention center whilst awaiting the Malaysian authorities’ decisions, he stated.

The Indonesian Foreign Ministry earlier revealed that the Malaysian authorities had arrested 421 undocumented Indonesian workers during raids at several areas nationwide this month.

Malaysian authorities apprehended the workers for alleged violation of the country’s immigration regulations, such as residing in the country without valid documents, overstaying, and possessing fake documents, Indonesian Foreign Ministry’s spokesperson, Teuku Faizasyah, noted on May 13.

The workers are currently under detention at the Malaysian Immigration’s detention house, and the Indonesian Embassy in Kuala Lumpur has provided consular facilities to them, Faizasyah stated.

“Based on our experience, the Indonesians, who were arrested and then detained by Malaysian Immigration (authorities), will be repatriated to Indonesia after completing the country’s legal process,” he noted.

The 421 undocumented Indonesian citizens were arrested during raids in Pasar Borong Selayang, Kuala Lumpur, on May 11, 2020.

Apart from the Indonesians, the Malaysian Immigration authorities also detained 790 Myanmar citizens, 54 Indians, six Pakistanis, 78 Bangladeshis, and several other foreigners.

The Malaysian Health Ministry recently declared that 7,551 foreign nationals were subject to questioning by the country’s authorities and 1,368 undocumented foreigners, currently detained in the country, had tested negative for COVID-19.

The Malaysian government has enforced a movement control order (MCO) to slow the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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