88,034 foreigners return home in repatriation programme

SEPANG: A total of 88,034 foreigners have been repatriated as part of the Recalibration for Illegal Immigrants (Pati) repatriation programme, says Datuk Khairul Dzaimee Daud.

The Immigration department director-general said a total of 107,524 foreigners had taken part in the programme as of Aug 1.

"88,034 foreigners have been sent home, including 56,154 Indonesians, 16,194 Indians and 11,510 Bangladeshis.

"Some RM52mil in compounds have been collected as well," he told reporters after visiting the Pati counters at KLIA on Monday (Aug 2).

The programme had garnered tremendous response, he added.

"We also received various complaints by various individuals and NGOs on social media.

"Among the issues were no physical distancing at the counters, lack of kiosks to buy food and drinks, as well as missing flights due to delay in the processes," he said.

Khairul Dzaimee said the Immigration department has taken steps in establishing 20 new Pati counters at short term Car Park on level 2 of Block B at the KLIA.

"This was possible with the cooperation of Malaysia Airport Berhad.

"The waiting area near the new counters are spacious and able to accommodate between 800 to 1,000 people.

"It is also equipped with an industrial fan for better ventilation, food kiosks and photocopy services, a surau, and spacious sitting to enable physical distancing," he said.

Since the new counters were established on July 31, there have not been reports of missing flights, he added.

"All foreigners who took part in the programme should go to KLIA 24 hours before their flights.

"Besides designated counters at KLIA, we also opened special counters at Stulang Laut, Johor on Aug 1. A total of 109 foreigners have been sent back through this counter," Khairul Dzaimee said.

Eight counters will also be opened at KLIA2 on Thursday (Aug 4), he added.

"We also expect to open counters at Pasir Gudang, Johor and Port Klang on Aug 15," he said.

Khairul Dzaimee said the majority of those who took part in the programme had overstayed between three to five years.

"The lived comfortably by working in the country despite being undocumented immigrants, based on the appliances they are bringing home, including electrical gadgets and television.

"Each foreigner usually has two to three bags," he said.

The presence of undocumented immigrants have led to losses of about RM130mil in levy yearly for the government, he said.

"We advise all foreigners who worked without proper documents as well as employers to take part in the repatriation programme," he said.

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