Easy for migrants to sneak in and out of Malaysia, say authorities

  • Nation
  • Wednesday, 15 May 2019

KLANG: S.C. Durai used to wonder how their former Indonesian domestic helper’s husband could sneak in and out of Klang whenever he wanted.

“He would come to Klang and work for up to three weeks at construction sites or do odd jobs. Then he’d go home to ensure that their children were okay and sneak back in after about two weeks,’’ said Durai.

He added that the man was picked up by the authorities in Klang on one occasion and sent back to Indonesia after a short detention, but was back in less than a week.

“I asked his wife how he did this and she said he travelled back and forth in boats that were delivering or picking up goods from jetties in both countries,’’ said Durai.

Selangor Maritime Enforce­ment Agency deputy director (operations) Commander Eizanizam Muhammad Eng said the modus operandi now was for illegal immigrants to travel to the transit point individually.

“Once there, they will board boats that will take them to their destinations,’’ he said.

In the past, he said, the illegal immigrants would travel in high-speed fibre fishing boats, but they are now travelling at a slower pace as the authorities gave chase when they detect high-speed boats on its radar.

“Now they travel during the breaking of fast or Friday prayers,’’ he said, adding that there were many jetties in Klang where anyone could buy a ticket and travel at sea.

“A foreigner does not need to show his passport to buy a ferry ticket to Pulau Ketam. They can take a ferry there and then transit to their country,’’ said Eizanizam.

He added that there were also many conduits such as fishing boats to transport migrants back to Indonesia illegally.

For instance, he said, fishing boats in Kuala Selangor were manned mostly by foreigners with employment approval from the Fisheries Department.

“So, if the Malaysian boat owner has been given a permit to have 10 foreign workers on board, we can’t say if all of them are legal,’’ he added.

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