29 December 2021
Hundreds of undocumented migrants are stranded in KLIA with many unable to get the necessary approval from the immigration authorities, causing them to miss their flights.
Many of them are stuck in KLIA as they try to leave under the immigration department’s recalibration programme which ends on Dec 31. Under the programme, which started 13 months ago, undocumented migrants are allowed to return to their home countries after meeting several criteria.
However, the programme is coming to an end on Dec 31, with a high number of migrants hurrying to KLIA before the deadline.
A spokesperson from a high commission told FMT that Malaysian immigration was unable to handle the pressure.
“Twenty counters have been set up at KLIA to process undocumented migrants but only 10 are operating,” he said. He added that the counters were set up in the airport carpark.
“The immigration department knew that in the last month of the recalibration programme, there would be a large number of people looking to depart. They should have been prepared.”
The spokesperson, who has been at KLIA every week, added that his high commission had reached out to the immigration department but there has been no change on the ground.
Another person from a different high commission, who also declined to be named, said one of his nationals had followed the necessary procedures but still missed his flight.
He told FMT that person had respected Malaysian laws and followed procedures but was now distressed about being unable to return home.
“The immigration officers know the time of flights, why don’t they settle the processing of travellers who need to fly earlier first?” the source asked.
Both sources said roughly 150 undocumented migrants missed their flights daily, with an average of 30 to 40 people per flight.
They said the migrants consisted of Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal, Indonesia and Philippine nationals, with infants and pregnant women among them.
FMT has contacted the immigration department but has yet to receive a response.
Did you find what you are looking for? Try out the enhanced Google Search: