Homebound Filipino migrants stuck at detention centres due to Covid-19 lockdown


  • Nation
  • Friday, 05 Jun 2020

KOTA KINABALU: Malaysia is unable to deport some 5,300 Filipinos, detained for illegally entering the state, as the Philippines is not yet ready to receive them.

Sabah National Security Council director Sharifah Sitti Saleha Habib Yussof said they could not carry out the deportations of the Filipinos, who are at temporary detention centres here.

Sharifah expected that the process of repatriation to start later this month when the Philipines relaxed its Covid-19 lockdown.

“I am told that may be by June 15, we could begin the process of deportation,” she said, adding that no Filipinos were deported during since movement control order was put in place in Malaysia on March 18.

She hoped that all countries would give full cooperation in the deportation exercise of their citizens.

Sharifah said that the Indonesian government through its consulate in Sabah has helped in the process of deportation of their citizens during the MCO and CMCO period.

“We have been able to deport 322 Indonesians, who entered Sabah illegally, via Tawau during the MCO and CMCO period,” she said on Friday.

Some 82 Indonesian was sent back via Tawau port to Indonesia’s Nunukan in Kalimantan on Friday.

Sharifah said the action was proof of Malaysia’s commitment to ensure the illegal immigrants could return home and enjoy their rights to a normal life in their own country.

A total of 3,753 illegal immigrants including those from Vietnam, China, and Pakistan have deported so far this year and since 1990, a total of 594,920 illegal immigrants have been deported from the state.

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