PUTRAJAYA: The Malaysian government will deport all illegal immigrants tested negative for COVID-19 to their countries of origin, Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced today.
Ismail Sabri, who chaired the Special Meeting on the Management of Illegal Immigrants today, said matters relating to the deportation process will be discussed by the Foreign Ministry (Wisma Putra) and their counterparts and embassies of the countries involved soon.
“Among other matters agreed in the meeting were the swab test on all illegal immigrants detained at the immigration depots in KLIA, Bukit Jalil and Semenyih,” he told the daily press conference on the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) here today.
In a related development, Ismail Sabri said in addition to the COVID-19 quarantine and treatment centre at the Malaysia Agro Exposition Park Serdang (MAEPS), the government has also included the Sungai Buloh Leprosy Hospital and the old maternity block of the Kuala Lumpur Hospital specifically to treat illegal immigrants tested positive for COVID-19.
He said these centres can accommodate up to 1,430 patients.
Meanwhile, Ismail Sabri stressed that there was no discrimination against the illegal immigrants in the country as the action taken by the government to arrest those illegal immigrants was meant to protect the majority of the Malaysian people who are complying with the standard operating procedure (SOP) of the CMCO to curb the spread of COVID-19.
“Illegal immigrants are people who entered another country illegally. I don’t know (if there is) any country in this world that would allow such people to enter their country by illegal means (and) without valid documents and to move freely. No country would allow that.
“Entering a country illegally is against the law and they can be arrested. That is clear. It’s a non-issue. If they are not detained and they are positive (with COVID-19), surely they will spread the virus to innocent people,” he said.
Yesterday, a report cited that 227 illegal immigrants detained at immigration depots in Bukit Jalil, KLIA Sepang and Semenyih, tested positive for COVID-19.