Immigration director-general Khairul Dzaimee Daud says the Indonesian detainees wanted to remain in Malaysia without valid documents.
SEREMBAN: The Indonesians who were detained in an enforcement operation at an illegal settlement in Nilai Spring on Feb 1 are believed to have had no intention of returning to their country of origin and wanted to remain in Malaysia without valid documents, said the immigration department.
Immigration director-general Khairul Dzaimee Daud said based on an inspection, the settlement – that was built on uneven land and in a swampy area – was found to have existed for a long time.
“It is located about 1.2 km from the main road. There are also metal trap fragments scattered, and dogs roaming in the area,” he said in a statement.
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“The place is equipped with generators and has a makeshift school that uses the learning syllabus of a neighbouring country.”
The statement was issued in response to a news report saying Indonesia’s National Commission on Human Rights had condemned the raid in Nilai Spring.
Khairul said 68 Indonesians were checked in the operation and 67 were detained for offences such as not having valid identification documents and overstaying.
Those detained were aged between two months and 72 years.
Khairul said the enforcement operation was not related to the implementation of the Labour Recalibration Programme 2.0 (RTK 2.0) which began on Jan 27, which is aimed at regularising illegal immigrants in the country as foreign workers.
“Illegal immigrants should take the opportunity to apply for the RTK 2.0 to continue to be in Malaysia legally,” he said.
Khairul also said the immigration department always strove to ensure the welfare of detainees, including children and women at immigration detention depots, continued to be protected.
He said the matter was also discussed during a meeting between home minister Saifuddin Nasution Ismail and his Indonesian counterpart on Jan 31.
Khairul said the entry and presence of foreigners in this country were subject to policies, regulations and laws of the country, including the need to have valid travel documents and to comply with the conditions of work permits.
He said the immigration department had acted in an orderly manner to ensure the country’s sovereignty was preserved and that it would expedite the deportation of the detainees to their countries of origin.