Indonesians form the highest number of detainees at immigration depots – Minister Saifuddin

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BUKIT JALIL: From the total of 13,530 detainees at the immigration depots and Baitul Mahabbah in Malaysia, 3,375 are Indonesians or 25 per cent as of March 31 and they made up the highest number.

Home Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail said, the total capacity at 20 depots nationwide is 20,450, while three Baitul Mahabbah have a capacity of 300.

Saifuddin said, Indonesia leads the top five countries at the immigration depots with 3,375 (25 per cent); the Philippines 3,345 (24.7 per cent); Rohingyas 2,653 (19.6 per cent); Myanmar 1,988 (14.7 per cent); Bangladesh 719 (5.3 per cent) and Thailand 340 (2.5 per cent).

“The remaining 1,110 (8.2 per cent) are from other countries, including China, India, Vietnam, Nepal, Pakistan, and Cambodia,” he told reporters after handing out Hari Raya clothes to children at the Bukit Jalil Immigration depot.

Meanwhile, of the total detainees at the immigration depots 9,438 were men, 2,696 women, 772 boys and 624 were girls.

He said those who are recognised as citizens of a country could be repatriated to their home countries immediately after the embassy provided their documents.

“However for those who have overstayed, misused their passes, or are undocumented would have to be penalised first under the Immigration Act before being repatriated.

“From Jan. 1 to March 31, 2024 the government has repatriated 11,303 to their home countries with 8,279 men, 2,661 women, 200 boys, and 163 girls,” he said.

In another development Saifuddin mentioned that the government had spent RM123 million in 2023 to cover the basic needs and utilities of the detainees at all 20 immigration depots nationwide.

He said, this includes the costs of repatriating migrants to their home countries.

“This demonstrates our concern for their welfare and it includes upgrading the immigration depots.

“The government has allocated RM53.1 million for the Lenggeng depot, which is scheduled to be completed by June 9, RM98 million for the Pekan Nenas depot, RM8.1 million for the Bekenu depot, and RM12.5 million for the Sandakan, Kota Kinabalu, Papar, and Tawau depots respectively.

“The government have invested millions in upgrading the depots, which demonstrates our commitment to treating those who enter our country and violate our laws with humanity.

“This is why I am against any groups that come out with reports that are unfair to the Malaysian government,” he said.

Saifuddin had also criticised the Human Rights Watch (HRW) “unbalanced” report, which he described as unfair to the Malaysian government, especially the Immigration Department.

The HRW had reported concerning torture and deaths in immigration detention centres in Malaysia.

“Now that we are under the Madani government, there should be compassion in the way we treat the detainees because they are human beings.

“This is important because otherwise, HRW will accuse us of torturing the detainees.
“I have invited them for a meeting, but I have yet to meet them. I am still waiting,” Saifuddin said.

It was reported that last month, Saifuddin had refuted HRW’s report in the Parliament and described it as highly irresponsible.
He said Malaysia strictly adheres to the law, guided by compassion and humanity. –Malaysia World News



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