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Immigration raids failed to nab real culprits, says NGO

27 May 2020

North-South Initiative director Adrian Pereira denounced immigration authorities for their failure to punish what it calls the “real culprits” behind the issue of undocumented foreign workers. He alluded to the labour agents and employers as the real culprits when the migrant workers become undocumented through mistreatment by agents or employers. With no through investigations on how the migrants become undocumented, we will continue to see forced labour and human trafficking in Malaysia. He alleged that some employment agents would commit contract substitutions, workers will then fail to get what was promised to them. With no choice at hand, the workers would run away and become undocumented. In cases of forced labour (unpaid), workers would leave for other safer opportunities when their complaints are not heard. By law, they would be undocumented without a new contract or permit with the new employer. Pereira added that impunity granted by the government to all others except the migrant workers is a form of injustice whereby workers who were forced to become undocumented through their negligence in the first place.

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Immigration DG confirms raid, expects to arrest 200 undocumented migrants

20 May 2020

Immigration director-general Khairul Dzaimee Daud said there is a raid at PJ Old Town and around 200 undocumented migrants are expected to be detained. The undocumented migrants – who come from Indonesia, India, Pakistan and Bangladesh – will be sent to immigration detention centres. 1,763 undocumented migrants in total have been detained from recent operations, including during raids at enhanced movement control order (MCO) areas in Selayang and Selangor Mansion, Jalan Masjid India. There was no risk of contracting Covid-19 as all the migrants have been tested and quarantined. This morning, the authorities went to houses in the enhanced MCO area and checked for their documentation. Without the documents, they were lined up and handcuffed before taken to the Immigration Department’s vehicles. It is believed that they will be deported to their countries of origin. Petaling Jaya MP Maria Chin Abdullah urged authorities to end the arrests of migrants using the COvid-19 pandemic as an excuse to remove them. The migrants are not living on any welfare schemes and are unable to make a living during this time. The majority of them work for small traders and the traders will need their assistance. Deporting them will hurt the traders economically. The raids risk further spreading the disease further, warned Maria. 

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Raid underway to nab illegal immigrants in PJ Old Town

20 May 2020

Raids at a series of places which are under lockdown add PJ Old Town to the list with Selangor Mansion and Menara One City Plaza in Jalan Masjid India and the Selayang wholesale market. An operation to identify and arrest undocumented immigrants is currently underway in PJ Old Town, which is under an enhanced movement control order due to a Covid-19 outbreak. Petaling Jaya police chief Nik Ezanee Mohd Faisal said the raid commenced at 8 am with 200 personnel on-site to track down illegal visitors. Senior Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob has said that such raids are to be expected in a health crisis; nothing is illegal about the raids since they have been carried out even before the pandemic.

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1,380 arrested in major swoop on illegal immigrants in Selayang

12 May 2020

The Immigration Department arrested 1,368 foreigners on Monday in a major swoop on illegal immigrants in Selayang. 1,009 men, 261 women and 98 children were taken to the Kuala Lumpur Immigration Department for further investigations. The foreigners were also screened for Covid-19 by the Health Ministry and the results for all of them were negative.

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‘Fraud, corruption among the main reasons for undocumented migrants’

8 May 2020

NGO Tenaganita caseworker Joseph Paul said that one of the reasons migrant workers are undocumented is because of the ubiquitous corruption among the authorities who are involved in the issuance of visas and work permits. They are also cheated by agents and came in through fraud. Companies cheated foreign workers by bringing them in with “so-called valid papers” and leaving them on their own feet without jobs or work permits. Besides dealing and struggling with financial issues, we cannot expect them to get the permit or reach out to the government or even buy tickets to go home. Paul said they do have passports but the stamps on their documents turned out to be fake without them knowing. They paid a hefty sum for original documents but they get fake ones instead. When it comes to the raids, the Immigration Department will be more interested in detaining them rather than finding out who issued these fake documents. The migrants do not carry or produce Covid-19 virus, they got it here. 

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Malaysia migrant raids ‘to reduce Covid-19 spread’

2 May 2020

Malaysian police say an operation to arrest hundreds of undocumented migrants in Kuala Lumpur on Friday aimed to reduce the spread of Covid-19. Police chief Abdul Hamid Bador told the state news agency that undocumented migrants were detained to ensure that they do not move around and spread the disease. The United Nations has urged the Malaysian authorities to release children and vulnerable individuals from the detention camps where migrants are held. Phil Robertson of Human Rights Watch tweeted that the detentions risked worsening the pandemic in Malaysia, both in terms of potential outbreaks inside the camps but also by making undocumented people less likely to co-operate. Malaysia does not recognise refugees and there are high levels of distrust for those who come from abroad, often working as low-paid labourers.

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Top cop says arrests of undocumented migrants part of Covid-19 measures

2 May 2020

Inspector-General of Police Abdul Hamid Bador said that authorities are conducting large-scale joint operations to root out undocumented migrants to contain the spread of Covid-19. Yesterday, hundreds of them were arrested in an immigration raid carried out in Jalan Masjid India yesterday.

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Health D-G insists undocumented migrants rounded up by Immigration don’t have Covid-19

2 May 2020

The Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah confirmed that the undocumented migrants detained during the immigration raiders were screened three times for Covid-19. The migrants were screened on April 1 within and around Kuala Lumpur, 586 were found to be undocumented. The group were segregated at the immigration detention centres where they have since been sent. The authorities also inspected some 3,300 legal migrants. Their results were negative and they were permitted to return to their residences.

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Malaysia ‘detains migrants, refugees’ amid coronavirus lockdown

1 May 2020

Malaysia has arrested hundreds of refugees and migrant workers for “illegally” living in the country, rights groups said, at a time of movement and travel restrictions imposed to contain the spread of the new coronavirus. Some in Malaysia have been accusing them of spreading the coronavirus and being a burden on government resources. Malaysia has about two million registered foreign workers, but authorities estimate many more are living in the Southeast Asian country without proper documents. Malaysia does not formally recognise refugees, regarding them as undocumented migrants. Human Rights Watch (HRW) and the Asia Pacific Refugee Rights Network (APRRN) said more than 700 migrants were taken into custody, including children. Lilianne Fan, chairman of the Rohingya Working Group at APRRN said the government previously pledged not to arrest and detain undocumented migrants, this is a backpedalling on the pledge and created a sense of fear among the people. Rachel Tan, programme officer at the Asia Pacific Refugee Rights Network, said the arrests were a “criminalisation of a people who toil in difficult and dangerous work conditions”.

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Tenaganita condemns raids on undocumented migrants, refugees in Kuala Lumpur

1 May 2020

Rights advocacy group Tenaganita criticized the concerted immigration raids to round up undocumented migrants. Teganita called it inhumane and cruel as they came during the holy month of Ramadan and an ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. Many of those who were arrested are from Muslim communities who are observing the holy month. Tengamita brought the intentions and values of the government into question as it overlooked the basic human rights of people without emphasis on their documentation status. Even though the presence of millions of undocumented persons is an issue that has to be addressed, Tenaganita urged to handle the issue more effectively with a comprehensive and transparent approach.

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Home Ministry to upgrade Johor Baru immigration complex

4 February 2020

The Finance Ministry has allocated RM85 million for upgrading works at the customs, immigration and quarantine complex in Johor Baru.

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Sabah, Labuan marine police record success in tackling maritime crimes

28 January 2020

Labuan marine police foiled RM 17 million worth of smuggling activities, compared to RM1.5 million in 2018. Sabah marine police (Region 4) commander, ACP Mohamad Pajeri Ali said Labuan marine police would soon have additional assets and staff to effectively address maritime-related crimes, including in the restricted areas of oil platforms. Sabah and Labuan marine police would be working together with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission and Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency in conducting operations beginning this year, adding that they would also be working together with the Royal Brunei Marine Police in tackling cross-border crimes.

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Armed forces to set up cyber command

15 January 2020

Chief of Malaysian Armed Forces Gen Affendi Buang said a cyber and electromagnetic command will be set up to deal with digital threats to boost the security forces in facing cyber security threats.

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Complaints committee to monitor 20 enforcement agencies

8 January 2020

The Special Cabinet Committee on Anti-Corruption (JKKMAR) has agreed to the recommendations by the National Registration Department (NRD) to boost its governance to address the issue of unethical distribution of identification documents. JKKMAR also said that the NRD will be re-rated as a high-risk agency and that its integrity unit will be empowered. Identification document will also have the biometric element embedded.

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Muhyiddin: We will launch holistic plan to combat migrant problem

30 December 2019

In an effort to ensure that the country reaches zero undocumented migrants, a holistic plan on enforcement against illegal migrants will be launched to solve the inflow of illegal migrants said Home Minister Muhyiddin Yassin. The plan which is developed in June will involve multiple players such as the state governments, local authorities, and Village Development and Security Committees. The plan details five strategies to do away with the illegal migrant issue – enforcement operation, legal and policy, border control and entry point, management of foreigners, and media and publicity.

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Govt to set up border agency, says Muhyiddin

27 December 2019

The Home Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said that a border agency will be created to oversee, as well as solidifying and boosting the standard of operation and security along the national borders. He said that the government will set up a sole body in charge of the national borders as soon as possible.

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Pakatan tables Defence White Paper in Parliament

2 December 2019 

Defence White Paper which shows the direction of the country’s aspirations for the next ten years is tabled to protect and defend the nation’s interests.

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04 October 2019 

The new Security and Public Order Policy (DKKA) launched by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad yesterday were timely as it will safeguard the people’s wellbeing while ensuring Malaysia to remain as a sovereign, peaceful, prosperous and respected nation.

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C4 – DKKA outlines six core areas and 21 strategies as a guide and reference for all interested parties in facing various security and public order issues. The six core areas are:

  1. Core 1: Defend supremacy of the Constitution, the law and the main institutions of the nation. (Mempertahankan Keluhuran Perlembagaan, Kedaulatan Undang-undang dan Institusi Utama Negara)
  2. Core 2: Improve the administration & Integrity of security/law enforcement agencies (Meningkatkan Tadbir Urus dan Integriti Agensi Penguatkuasaan Keselamatan 
  3. Core 3: To enhance the defence of the border control of the country. (Mengukuhkan Keselamatan Kawalan Sempadan Negara)
  4. Core 4: To guarantee the safety and public order of the nation. (Menjamin Keselamatan dan Ketenteraman Awam)
  5. Core 5: To combat the menace of drug abuse (Memerangi Gejala Dadah)
  6. Core 6: To protect the nation’s strategic interest and assets. (Melindungi Aset dan Sasaran Penting Negara)

Core 3 of the DKKA, which focused on enhancing the defence of border control of the nation, has four strategies. The strategies are:

  1. To increase the supervision and control of the boarders continuously and comprehensively.  (Meningkatkan Kawalan dan Pengawasan Sempadan Secara Bersepadu dan Berterusan)
  2. To galvanise the intelligence capabilities and enforcement of crossborder crime (Memperkasakan Keupayaan Perisikan dan
    Penguatkuasaan Jenayah Rentas Sempadan)
  3. Strengthen the enforcement of security laws of the borders of the nation. ( Memperkukuhkan Penguatkuasaan Undang-undang Keselamatan Sempadan Negara)
  4. To establish a comprehensive immigrant management system (Mewujudkan Sistem Pengurusan Warga Asing yang Menyeluruh)

According to SUHAKAM (Human Rights Commission of Malaysia), Malaysia has become a popular destination economic migrants or transit country, where are prone to exploitation. They have seen an increasing number of complaints of human trafficking within the year. The strategies highlighted points to the acknowledgement of the problems of human trafficking by the administration and their possible remedies. However, caution should be given as these remedies might lead to abuse and overzealous use of force by some members of the enforcement agencies if there is no proper oversight system in place. 

Selling MyKad, birth certs to foreigners is treason: Muhyiddin

14 September 2019 – The act of selling MyKad and birth certificates to foreign nationals should be treated as treason said Muhyiddin, the Minister of Home Affairs on his Facebook page today. His posting was a response to the arrest of 20 people including a senior National Registration Department officer for issuing Malaysia identity documentations illegally.

Human trafficking court nets few scalps in first year

4 September 2019A Malaysian court that promised justice for victims of human trafficking made eight convictions in its inaugural year despite the launch of hundreds of investigations in recent years, data obtained exclusively by the Thomson Reuters Foundation revealed. Malaysia is a magnet for traffickers due to its heavy reliance on foreign workers, many lured from nearby Indonesia and Bangladesh with promises of honest work but ending up trapped in unpaid labour, debt and facing exploitation.

C4 – Justice for human trafficking victims in Malaysia is being outpaced by the number of investigations and incidences of human trafficking activities in the nation. With justice not done, it would lead the perpetrators to continue to traffic countless workers into the country for a life of servitude and exploitation. The article accounts encouraging news from the PDRM and the MACC that indicates that law enforcement agencies are focused on bringing incidences of these crimes to court. There is a need now on these cases to be delivered through the legal system were the masterminds behind the enslavement of guest workers are brought to justice.


To increase resources and capacity of the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency to address these threats

Tommy Thomas to speak at maritime law conference

17 February 2020

Attorney-General Tan Sri Tommy Thomas will be one of the speakers, while Federal Court judge Datuk P Nalini will be delivering the keynote address at the Maritime Law Conference scheduled to be held on March 18 and 19.

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19 May 2019

Malaysian maritime agencies do not have enough “muscle” to thwart illegal fishing by Vietnamese vessels in the nation’s exclusive economic zone waters. 

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To use the ASEAN platform to achieve intra-regional solution

RCEP expected to help ease South China Sea tensions

15 January 2020

The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) will shift the attention to regional economic growth to ameliorate the tensions in the South China Sea. RCEP, led by Asean, China, South Korea, Australia, Japan and New Zealand would be the world’s largest trade pact by Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and population if it transpired.

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Asean members get tough with China on the South China Sea

6 January 2020

Asean members – Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam and the Philippines solidify their position on the South China Sea issue. In the Code of Conduct (COC) negotiations, Indonesia and Malaysia have made harsher statements against China on the issue. Malaysian’s Foreign Minister, Datuk Seri Saifuddin Abdullah, said “for China to claim that the whole of the South China Sea belongs to them, I think that is ridiculous.”

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Increase diplomatic efforts and accelerate bilateral negotiations to resolve extra territorial issues

No updates

MACC to focus on protecting the borders of the country and take firm action against any perpetrators irrespective of their position



PSS proposed by the previous govt, says Azis

1 December 2019

According to the Deputy Home Minister Datuk MD Azis Jamman, the Sabah Temporary Pass (PSS) for foreigners meant to prevent and control the issuance of fake documents is being opposed by some quarters was actually proposed by the previous government but under a different name. Census certificates. The opposition party said that the federal government does not have unilateral power over immigration laws and regulations.

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22 July 2019

The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has arrested a Sessions Court judge in Kuala Kubu Bharu, Selangor, over alleged corruption involving the release of illegal immigrants. MACC chief commissioner Latheefa Koya confirmed the arrest of the 45-year-old judge, which was carried out this evening.

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22 July 2019 – The remand order against a lawyer and a deputy public prosecutor (DPP) over alleged corruption involving the release of illegal immigrants has been extended for two days.