446,219 illegal immigrants deported, RCI told

January 29, 2013

KOTA KINABALU, Jan 29 – The Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) investigating the illegal immigrants problem in Sabah was today told that 446,219 such individuals were deported from the state between 1990 and yesterday.

Federal Special Taskforce for Sabah and Labuan director Datuk Suhaimi Mohd Salleh said they comprised Filipinos, Indonesians and other nationalities.

The fifth witness, who was recalled to testify at today’s proceedings which entered its sixth day, said that in January this year alone 879 illegal immigrants were deported to their countries of origin.

To a question by conducting officer Manoj Kurup, the witness said that as of yesterday, 3,741 illegal immigrants from the Philippines, Indonesia and other nationalities were being held in three temporary detention centres (TDCs) under the supervision of the taskforce.

There were 1,899 detainees in Papar, 683 in Sibuga and 1,159 in Tawau, he added.

Suhami also said that RM72 million had been spent by the taskforce for the placement schemes in the state since 1990 to date.

He was asked to clarify the role of the special taskforce, whose responsibilities included the registration of foreigners entering Sabah and Labuan.

He responded that the taskforce also had the power to detain and arrest illegal immigrants without any documents, while the deportation was carried out by the Malaysian Immigration Department.

The taskforce was also responsible for issuing census certificates, which could be used to apply for IMM-13 temporary cards, to Filipino civil war refugees in the placement schemes, he said. – Bernama