PUTRAJAYA, Aug 13 — A total of 21,241 foreigners have been deported to their respective countries of origin since the beginning of this year until last Aug 10, while another 15,957 people are still in immigration detention depots.
Home Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin said at this time the government was facing difficulties in carrying out deportations, especially to obtain the consent of the countries of origin apart from ensuring that they were free from COVID-19 before being expelled.
“We need to make sure the other country is ready, we can’t just send them just like that and we work with their embassy here, all the documentation is there, then we send them home,” he told reporters after the Immigration Department of Malaysia’s Excellent Service Award ceremony, here today .
Of the 21,241 migrants who were deported, 9,276 were from Indonesia, Bangladesh (2,643), Myanmar (1,891), Thailand (1,715), India (1,412), China (1,343), Pakistan (991), Vietnam (646), Nepal (314), Cambodia (271) and other countries (739), he said.
He said the balance remaining in the detention depots included foreigners who were transferred from prisons.
On enforcement, Hamzah said the Immigration Department had carried out 4,764 operations since the beginning of this year until Aug 10 last year and detained 18,575 foreigners as well as 269 employers who committed offences.
“Periodic operations will continue to be implemented to ensure that foreigners are aware that we will not stop carrying out operations,” he said.
Earlier, in his speech as the department responsible for safeguarding the country’s sovereignty, Hamzah wanted the Immigration Department to resolve the issue of foreign immigrants in the country as soon as possible.
He said efforts to defend the country’s sovereignty required sincerity and honesty because without both attitudes, there would be room for officials not to follow the law.
At the event, Hamzah also launched the new Immigration Department’s norm, which is the delivery of upgraded services with the use of digital and online applications with the theme “Deal with the Machine”.
Several systems had been developed to complement the new norm initiatives such as Online Appointment System (STO), MYEntry System, MyTravelPas System (MTP) and Online Inquiry System (SPO).
The STO, which came into use on May 8, had succeeded in improving the smooth operation of the department and controlling the presence of the public at immigration offices in accordance with the standard operating procedure (SOP) of COVID-19 prevention.
MyEntry is an online centralised screening and approval system for applying for entry and exit permits for eligible foreigners such as expatriates and skilled workers, while MTP is a cross-border travel facility system between Malaysia and Singapore.
SPO is an inquiry platform for customers to get basic information about the Immigration Department’s core services to make it easier for the public to make preparations before dealing with the Immigration Department.