See More on Facebook

Diplomacy, Economics

‘7,000 Bangladeshis’ held in Malaysia since January

Malaysian immigration department has detained more than 30,000 undocumented migrants, including an estimated 7,000 Bangladeshis, since January this year.


Written by

Updated: September 5, 2018

Datuk Seri Mustafar Ali, director general of the department, said 30,000 illegal migrants were detained until yesterday, but he did not mention the nationalities of the migrants, who mostly come from Indonesia, Bangladesh, Nepal, India, Philippines, Cambodia and Myanmar.

Mustafar had earlier told the media that 5,959 Bangladeshis were detained between January 1 and August 29 this year. A number of Bangladeshi migrants told The Daily Star over the phone that those detained since August 30 include another 1,000 Bangladeshis.

Following a raid in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Mustafar Ali yesterday said over 1,000 employers were also detained during the period for employing or harbouring the undocumented migrants, reported Bernama, the state news agency of Malaysia.

“The detentions are the result of more than 10,000 operations carried out nationwide with over 100,000 foreigners examined,” he told reporters.

“We gave illegal immigrants the opportunity to surrender themselves voluntarily through the 3-plus-1 programme which ended on August 30.

“In addition, we implemented the Rehiring Programme which was terminated on June 30. However, we still find many who do not adhere to the set procedures.”

Mustafar said despite a large number of operations carried out, there were still many illegal immigrants located throughout the country.

“Although we have introduced several programmes, many still refuse to surrender, including employers. After the Rehiring Programme, we implemented Ops Mega 3.0 and of the hundreds of operations that we have conducted, we have arrested more than 1,000 illegal immigrants from over 7,000 who were inspected.”

Ops Mega 3.0 is a crackdown against illegal immigrants, launched on August 31.

“We do not want to compromise on the issue of illegal immigrants… because there are many other problems that will arise from this, for example, in relation to health issues and drug abuse,” said the immigration department boss.

Meanwhile, commenting on the operation carried out at the Sepanggar and Kota Kinabalu areas from midnight to 4:00am yesterday (Malaysian time), Mustafar said 58 illegal immigrants were detained.

“This operation will continue throughout the country, and we want our country to be free of illegal immigrants,” he added.

The major crackdown beginning on September 1 drew criticisms from the rights groups who demanded halt to it, arguing that most of the migrants were victims of exploitation or trafficking.

There are some one million Bangladeshi migrants, and nearly 50 percent of those are estimated to be undocumented, an official of Bangladesh High Commission in Kuala Lumpur told this newspaper earlier.



Enjoyed this story? Share it.


Daily Star
About the Author: The Daily Star is a leading English-language daily newspaper in Bangladesh.

Eastern Briefings

All you need to know about Asia


Our Eastern Briefings Newsletter presents curated stories from 22 Asian newspapers from South, Southeast and Northeast Asia.

Sign up and stay updated with the latest news.



By providing us with your email address, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

View Today's Newsletter Here

Diplomacy, Economics

China says Pacific island ties no threat to any nation

Government says Xi’s visits to help improve region’s development, people’s livelihoods. China said on Tuesday its cooperation with and assistance to Pacific island countries never target a third party, and called for other countries to jointly help promote the region’s development and improve people’s livelihoods. Vice-Foreign Minister Zheng Zeguang made the remark at a news briefing on President Xi Jinping’s state visits to Papua New Guinea, Brunei and the Philippines, and his attendance at the 26th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Economic Leaders’ Meeting. Xi’s visits will start on Thursday and last to Nov 21. During Xi’s stay in Papua New Guinea, he will meet with leaders of the eight Pacific island countries that have established diplomatic ties with China and deliver a speech at a group meeting with them. In the speech, Xi is expected


By China Daily
November 14, 2018

Diplomacy, Economics

India watchful amid developments in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka’s political crisis has a regional power closely watching developments. The return of Mr Mahinda Rajapaksa to power in Sri Lanka amid political turmoil has triggered concern in India, with analysts warning it could lead to a deterioration of ties with the island nation to its south-east and increase the influence of China, already making serious inroads into South Asia. Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena sacked Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on Oct 26 and named his one-time rival as his replacement. The move plunged the country into political turmoil and a constitution


By The Straits Times
November 14, 2018

Diplomacy, Economics

Aung San Suu Kyi wants foreign investment amid international pressure

Myanmar’s State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi wants the world to see her country as a business and investment opportunity waiting to be seized. Suu Kyi made the pitch that Myanmar is “the last frontier of Southeast Asia” in a keynote speech at the Asean Business and Investment Summit, on the sidelines of the main Asean Summit, which will be held from Monday to Thursday in Singapore. Suu Kyi acknowledged that Myanmar very behind in this respect, saying “this may sound old hat to you, but it’s very very new to us. We want you to know we are catching up with the rest of the world.” There is certainly a long way for Myanmar to go. Just weeks ago, in late October, the World Bank’s Doing Business 2019 report, an index that evaluates “the regulations that enha


By Quinn Libson
November 14, 2018

Diplomacy, Economics

Report of NK’s ‘undisclosed’ missile bases not new, S. Korea says

South Korea’s presidential office on Tuesday played down a new report on North Korea’s “undisclosed” missile sites. South Korea’s government said that it’s going too far to call the North’s continued activity a “great deception” given that it has no specific agreement to dismantle or disclose the facilities mentioned in the report issued by Beyond Parallel, a group at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. The group said it has located 13 out of an estimated 20 missile operating bases undeclared by the secretive communist regime. “The dispersed deployment of these bases and distinctive tactics employed by ballistic missile units are combined with decades of extensive camouflage, concealment and deception practices to maximize the survival of its missile units from pre-emptive strikes and during wartime operations,” the report


By The Korea Herald
November 13, 2018

Diplomacy, Economics

‘Forced repatriation’ to pose security risk

International crisis warns that forced repatriation of Rohingya refugees could pose serious security risks. The International Crisis Group has warned of serious security risks of “forced repatriation” of the Rohingya, just as Myanmar and Bangladesh prepare for the November 15 return of the refugees sheltered in Bangladesh. In a statement, the Brussels-based global advocacy body said Rohingyas strongly opposed the repatriation move and would do whatever they can to resist it. “This [forced repatriation] will increase tension in the camps and could lead to confrontations between refugees and Bangladesh security forces and greatly complicate humanitarian operations. “A botched repatriation attempt could potentially set back peace and development efforts by years,” said the statement released yesterday. It comes two weeks after Bangladesh and Myanmar agreed to begin the repatriation


By Daily Star
November 13, 2018

Diplomacy, Economics

Suu Kyi stripped of Amnesty honour

The Amnesty International has stripped Aung San Suu Kyi of its highest honour, the latest of several honours taken away from her since last year’s brutal military crackdown on the Rohingyas. This is the eighth honour that the former Nobel peace prizewinner has been stripped of over the past year, with Amnesty following the example of Canada, US Holocaust Museum, UK’s Edinburgh, Oxford, Glasgow and Newcastle and Canada’s Carleton Universities which also revoked Suu Kyi’s honorary degrees and awards. The long-celebrated Nobel Laureate was given Amnesty’s most prestigious honour, the Ambassador of Conscience Award for 2009 marking the 20th anniversary of her arrest and 20 years since it declared her a prisoner of conscience. The AI yesterday announced withdrawal of its highest honour fr


By Daily Star
November 13, 2018