Covid-19: Immigration crackdowns held to protect country's people and sovereignty, says union

  • Nation
  • Tuesday, 26 May 2020

PETALING JAYA: The Immigration Department's move to round up migrants in areas that were under enhanced movement control order (MCO) recently has drawn criticism from various quarters but the department's staff say they were only doing their job.

Immigration Services Union of Peninsular Malaysia (KPISM) president Norhisham Murujan said the Immigration teams had been unfairly criticised for their actions, adding that they were only carrying out their duties in accordance with the law for the country's safety.

"The number of illegal immigrants in those areas could have posed a threat to the community's safety and also put the country's safety and stability at risk," Norhisham said in a statement on Tuesday (May 26).

He added that the move was done to protect the country's people and sovereignty from any threats.

KPISM, he said, would continue to support the department's efforts to crack down on illegal immigrants in Malaysia.

The Immigration Department has recently conducted raids on illegal immigrants in enhanced MCO areas in Kuala Lumpur such as Jalan Masjid India and near the wholesale market in Selayang as well as in Petaling Jaya in PJ Old Town.

The areas were previously placed under enhanced MCO following a spike in Covid-19 cases there.

The Immigration raids were slammed by activists and NGOs such as Tenaganita and Amnesty Malaysia which called the move "cruel and inhumane" and said it disregarded human rights and public health.

Separately, Norhisham hopes a field clinic will be set up at Immigration depots in Bukit Jalil, Semenyih and KL International Airport where new clusters of Covid-19 have been detected, for immigration officers on duty to seek health advice.

He added that the relevant authorities must also ensure that there were enough disinfection and personal protection equipment for those on duty there.

Norhisham said KPISM had also been contributing such equipment as a show of support.

"Immigration officers from the department's headquarters and state offices have been called in to relieve those stationed there as they undergo quarantine.

"The support given by the Immigration Department in terms of setting the right standard operating procedure as well as looking after the welfare and safety of those on duty, has been satisfactory," he said.

KPISM represents 14,000 members.

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