2 July 2022
Migrants who failed to depart the country under the government’s recalibration programme, which ended on June 30, will be deported and barred from entering Malaysia for life, says immigration director-general Khairul Dzaimee Daud.
This follows reports that crowds of migrants thronged KLIA and the Stulang Laut International Ferry Terminal, Johor Bahru, in hopes of leaving the country ahead of the programme’s June 30 deadline.
A large number had reportedly been left stranded after failing to board their flights or ferries.
Khairul said those who had failed to return to their home countries would be detained at immigration depots before being deported.
“They are to be detained in our depots and later deported. They will be barred from entering Malaysia for life,” he told FMT.
On June 25, home minister Hamzah Zainudin said a total of 243,297 undocumented migrants were repatriated while 282,561 had registered under the programme.
He said that once the programme ended, stern action would be taken against offenders.
Under the recalibration programme, which started in November 2020, undocumented migrants were allowed to return to their home countries after meeting several criteria.
Indonesian ambassador Hermono said he had received word that many migrants had missed their flights, but was unsure of their exact number.
“Migrants in Johor had to wait more than three days to pay their compounds before they received clearance to depart.
“We have yet to receive any information from the immigration department regarding what will happen to those who failed to depart the country,” he said.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, a student activist who had assisted migrants at KLIA on Thursday described the situation as “chaotic”.
He said the small number of immigration officers and counters to process the large number of migrants caused many to miss their flights.
“Many people were camped in the carpark and basement area, just waiting.”
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