Defend and Protect the Country’s Borders from External Invasion, Trafficking and Smuggling
Cops cripple three organised crime groups involved in human trafficking
30 June 2020
A series of raids by the police dismantled three organised groups in smuggling undocumented migrants into the country; the Otong gang in Johor, Halim Gang in Perak and Husen Maungdaw Gang in Penang. 111 suspects were arrested.
Cop among four nabbed in drug probe
30 June 2020
A policeman was among four people arrested for suspected involvement in drug trafficking involving RM2.67mil in Muar. Two of them tested positive for methamphetamine. Two other suspects are still at large.
Police to target Johor’s west coast after cleaning up in the east, says state’s top cop
29 June 2020
Johor police will be targeting west coastal areas criminal activities instead. Johor police chief Comm Datuk Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay said that 95% of the criminal activities in the east side have been wiped out. 22 enforcement officers have been arrested this month for their involvement in human trafficking activities. The smuggling syndicates are believed to have shifted their activities to Batam in Indonesia and thus help from Indonesia is needed.
372 skippers nabbed for people smuggling
27 June 2020
372 skippers for allegedly smuggling illegal immigrants into the country during Ops Benteng are detained.
Govt firm in blocking entry of Rohingya refugees
27 June 2020
Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said that the government is firm in its stand to stop the entry of Rohingya refugees into the country. The government is maintaining its stand that the best solution is to send them back.
‘Many Rohingyas arriving from nearby islands’
26 June 2020
Royal Malaysian Navy Region Three Commander, First Admiral Abd Hamid Ali said due to the proximity of the islands in Thailand’s waters where they come from, at only 2.5 nautical miles, Rohingya encroaches on Malaysian waters. These islands include Pulau Tarutao, Pulau Koh Lipe and Pulau Koh Adang in Thailand which are very close to Langkawi. Abd Hamid said a major challenge is the involvement of locals who are behind the trafficking of illegal immigrants, especially Rohingyas.
Op Benteng: 372 skippers detained
26 June 2020
372 skippers were detained for smuggling illegal immigrants into the country during Op Benteng. 80 skippers will be charged in court soon.
Stern action against officers involved in migrant smuggling activity: Immigration DG
25 June 2020
The Immigration Department (JIM) will not protect any of its officers and compromise if any of them are found working with skippers or middlemen linked to migrant smuggling syndicates.
Police discover 28 human trafficking victims in Kedah
25 June 2020
28 undocumented migrants, believed to be victims of human trafficking were rounded up. They were just sent from KL to Kedah and were trafficked for use as forced labourers.
More enforcement officers nabbed
25 June 2020
Another four enforcement agency personnel for suspected collusion with human trafficking syndicates are arrested. This makes the a total of 22 enforcement officers have been arrested this month for their involvement in human trafficking activities. A fake entry and exit stamp would be provided to help overstayed social visit pass (PLS) holders from Indonesia during the movement control order (MCO) period. The immigrants were then asked to pay between RM1,500 and RM2,500 per person and their exit process would be handled by the corrupt Immigration officers.
Rohingya refugees tell Malaysia how dozens perished during four-month voyage
24 June 2020
During the four-month voyage, survivors of over 300 Rohingya Muslim refugees on a damaged boat told Malaysian authorities many were perished and their bodies were thrown off the boat. Survivors from a boat crammed with over 300 Rohingya Muslim refugees told Malaysian authorities that dozens of their people perished and their bodies were thrown in the sea during a tortuous four-month voyage. The Rohingya risked the perilous sea journey having lost hope of making a better life in the refugee camps in Bangladesh, where many had found sanctuary after fleeing their homes in Myanmar following a military crackdown in 2017. Rohingya survivors paid traffickers about RM2,500 for the voyage, with a pledge to pay an additional RM11,000-RM13,000 once they found jobs in Malaysia. While the women were promised for marriage to Rohingya men in Malaysia. MMEA director-general Datuk Mohd Zubil Mat Som did not confirm if they will be sent back out to sea once the boat is repaired.
Two Rohingya men nabbed for smuggling illegal immigrants
22 June 2020
Two Rohingya men, in their 30s, are arrested for their involvement in the smuggling of immigrants into the country and will be investigated under Section 26 (A) of the Anti-Trafficking in Persons and Anti-Smuggling of Migrants (Atipsom) Act 2007.
Traffickers demand payments for Rohingya stranded at sea
16 June 2020
Rohingya refugees at sea are withheld by traffickers as they demand payments from their families for release even though countries in Southeast Asia have not allowed refugees to go on shore.
Tackling Sabah’s 50-year migrant problem
15 June 2020
Home Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainuddin said the immigration department will standardise the IMM13 documents to Filipino refugees who fled to Sabah during the civil war in southern Philippines in the 1970s would be recognised. The department will assess and identify the IMM13 document holders and then present it to the Filipino government so they will be able to issue them with a proper travel document so that they will then be able to apply for work as foreign workers.
Embassies’ help sought to deport illegal immigrants
7 June 2020
Malaysia seeks assistance from various embassies and high commissions to facilitate the deportation of illegal migrants to their respective countries. Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said the Indonesian and Chinese embassies have responded positively. The first phase of deportations involved 2,761 Indonesians followed by the second phase involving 2,623 Indonesians. 500 Chinese will be deported. 675 illegal migrants are currently undergoing treatment after testing positive for Covid-19. Once they are discharged, they will be deported. Ismail Sabri voiced concern over continuous attempts to cross the Malaysian border via rat lanes, and the high number of Covid-19 cases among illegal migrants. Ops Benteng will be put in place to block illegal migrants’ entry. The operation will involve the army, police, Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency and Malaysian Border Security Agency. Since May 1, 393 illegal migrants and 72 tekong (skippers), 11 suspected smugglers have been detained. 12 boats are impounded. So far, 1,517 foreigners had been detained during the movement control period for crossing the border illegally.
Displaced Rohingyas at Sea: Scourge of Human Trafficking
3 June 2020
A vicious trafficking network plagues some 40 million people in South and Southeast Asia. 71 per cent of modern slavery accounted for women and girls. Women and children vulnerable in this network of sexual exploitation forced labour and coerced marriage. Official authorities are either active or passive recipients of corruption.
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.
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.
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.
As Rohingya Boats Keep Sailing, Southeast Asia Turns a Blind Eye
14 May 2020
Each year hundreds or thousands try to escape and refugees are held as hostage by the traffickers while more money was extorted from their families. A Thai army general was arrested for running trafficking camps on the Thailand-Malaysia border in 2015, traffickers swiftly abandoned their human cargo, and hundreds died at sea. But the trafficking never stopped. In February 2020, shrouded corpses were laid on the shore in Bangladesh after a trawler carrying more than 100 Rohingyas capsized.
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.
Johor police: 60 skippers arrested for migrant trafficking since MCO was enforced
12 May 2020
60 skippers (between the age of 23 – 57) have been arrested by the authorities for trafficking migrants. 90 migrants (between the age of one to 60) were also detained in the Op-Pintas Bersepadu Selatan (launched last month), an integrated operation involving the police, Armed Forces, Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA), Customs Department and Immigration Department to address cross-border crime in the state, mainly through sea routes. The migrants are arrested to investigate the skippers for witness testimonies in court. They are charged under Section 26A of the Anti-Trafficking in Persons and Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act 2007.
‘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.
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.
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.
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.
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”.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
- 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)
- Core 2: Improve the administration & Integrity of security/law enforcement agencies (Meningkatkan Tadbir Urus dan Integriti Agensi Penguatkuasaan Keselamatan
- Core 3: To enhance the defence of the border control of the country. (Mengukuhkan Keselamatan Kawalan Sempadan Negara)
- Core 4: To guarantee the safety and public order of the nation. (Menjamin Keselamatan dan Ketenteraman Awam)
- Core 5: To combat the menace of drug abuse (Memerangi Gejala Dadah)
- 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:
- To increase the supervision and control of the boarders continuously and comprehensively. (Meningkatkan Kawalan dan Pengawasan Sempadan Secara Bersepadu dan Berterusan)
- To galvanise the intelligence capabilities and enforcement of crossborder crime (Memperkasakan Keupayaan Perisikan dan
Penguatkuasaan Jenayah Rentas Sempadan)
- Strengthen the enforcement of security laws of the borders of the nation. ( Memperkukuhkan Penguatkuasaan Undang-undang Keselamatan Sempadan Negara)
- 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 2019 – A 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.
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.
18 May 2019 – A multi-agency task force, spearheaded by the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) has scored a series of successes by nabbing 25 Vietnamese vessels and detaining 123 of their crew for illegal activities.
26 March 2019 – Mohamad said the core business of the navy is to protect the nation’s territorial integrity and it is also entrusted to play its part in other aspects of national development agendas such as in capacity building, the national defence industry, marine environmental conservation, and collaboration with other maritime agencies to maintain order at sea.
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.
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.”
Increase diplomatic efforts and accelerate bilateral negotiations to resolve extra territorial issues
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.
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.