Encouraging response to migrant repatriation scheme, says Saifuddin

PUTRAJAYA: The Migrant Repatriation Programme has received encouraging response since it was introduced on Friday (March 1), says Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail (pic).

The Home Minister said Immigration Department director-general Datuk Ruslin Jusoh kept him updated on the programme.

"It has only been a few days but we are monitoring the programme on a daily basis. The response seems positive," he told reporters after an event at his residence on Monday (March 4).

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Saifuddin also commended the cooperation given by several embassies and consulates, especially Indonesian and Nepalese.

"I am heartened that they have given full cooperation, and even facilitated their citizens to join the programme.

"For example, they helped manage the payments for their citizens (as the system is cashless) and arranged for transport to the Immigration offices.

"It shows that they are really on board with helping us send their citizens home," he added.

Under the programme, foreigners without a valid travel pass or who have overstayed will only be fined RM500 if they want to return home.

Those who violated their travel passes or permits would be charged RM300.

ALSO READ: 11 kids among those opting for migrant repatriation

Ruslin had said that no one, under the programme, would be prosecuted.

“All they need to do is surrender themselves so that they can be processed and sent home rather than staying in Malaysia illegally," he added.

The programme will run until Dec 31.

The Immigration Department has not appointed any agents to manage the repatriation.

In addition to the fine, participants must also have a passport or valid travel document issued by the home country.

They must also have a one-way ticket back with a departure date within 14 days of their application for the programme.

Undocumented foreigners who are 18 years and below will not be fined, so that adults may return home with their children without incurring extra costs.

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