5,300 Filipino immigrants ‘stranded’ at Sabah detention centres

About 5,300 Filipino migrants are stuck in detention centres in Sabah as the Philippines has refused to accept their repatriation due to the Covid-19 pandemic. – The Malaysian Insight file pic, June 5, 2020.

ABOUT 5,300 Filipino illegal immigrants are “stranded” at temporary detention centers in Sabah after the Philippine government refused to accept their repatriation due to the  Covid-19 pandemic.

National Security Council (NSC) Sabah director Sharifah Sitti Saleha Habib Yussof said this resulted in the Filipino immigrants staying longer at the detention centres.

“The Foreign Ministry hopes neighbouring countries can cooperate by accepting the  entry of their citizens who are being detained for illegal entry into Sabah,” she said today.

She said since January 1 this year until last March 17, a total of 3,347 illegal immigrants were deported, comprising 2,331 Filipinos, 816 Indonesians and the others from countries such as India, China, Pakistan and Vietnam.

However, since implementation of the movement-control order (MCO) on March 18 and then the conditional MCO in May, there has been no deportation of illegal immigrants to the Philippines, she added.

She expressed her gratitude to Indonesia, including its consulate in Sabah, for extending its cooperation to facilitate the return of its citizens from Malaysia.

She said a total of 322 Indonesian illegal immigrants were deported to the republic through Sabah since the implementation of CMO.

They included 82 people, comprising 77 men and five women, who were deported by ferry from Tawau today, she added. – Bernama, June 5, 2020.

Sign up or sign in here to comment.