140,000 illegals sent home under Back-for-Good programme

The Immigration Department will launch a massive operation to round up illegals after the Back For Good (B4G) programme ends on Dec 31. (Bernama pic)

PUTRAJAYA: A total 138,901 illegal immigrants have returned to their countries of origin voluntarily through the Back For Good (B4G) programme as of Dec 12 since it was launched on Aug 1.

Immigration Department director-general Khairul Dzaimee Daud said of that number, Indonesians formed the highest number, with 53,328 illegal immigrants, followed by those from Bangladesh (38,734), India (22,964), Myanmar (6,923).

The rest were from other countries.

“We expect the total number to increase every day until the end of the month.

“The Immigration Department has also extended its operating hours until 10pm and our offices nationwide are open during the weekends to cope with the crowds,” he told reporters after the Immigration Fun Run programme here today.

Khairul said the sharp increase in those enlisting in the programme was due to the attitude of people who wanted to wait till the last minute to apply, hoping that the programme would be extended.

“A decision was made by the government that the B4G programme will not be extended and will end on Dec 31.

“After that, the department will conduct a massive operation to round up illegals.”

The B4G programme, implemented only in Peninsular Malaysia until Dec 31, is aimed at giving illegal immigrants who have committed offences under the Immigration Act 1959/63, the chance to return to their countries of origin according to stipulated requirements.

The illegal immigrants only need to obtain identification documents from their respective embassy or high commission before handing them over to the Immigration Office for processing.

They also need to pay a compound fine of RM700 and show valid flight tickets for them to return to their countries of origin.