Saturday September 30, 2006
Number of illegals set to reach critical stage
KAJANG: The number of illegal immigrants in detention centres nationwide is expected to reach critical stage by January next year.
Home Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Radzi Sheikh Ahmad said: “There are about 7,467 illegal immigrants detained in 15 centres around the country and based on the progression of arrests made by Rela, we are expected to face a crisis for space by January.
“I am now touring the country to see the conditions of the centres and preliminary observation shows that we need new centres to take in the growing number of detainees,” Radzi told reporters after visiting the Semenyih Immigration Detention centre here yesterday.
The minister added that one of the biggest centres like the one here could only take in a maximum of 1,500 detainees while smaller ones could accommodate up to a maximum of 500 people.
He said his ministry had no intention to build lavish-looking new centres but would invest in simple and practical ones to save costs.
To a question, Radzi said it was not an easy task to just deport illegal immigrants to their countries of origin to solve the problem.
“We need to liase with the authorities of the respective immigrant and this process takes at least three months to be resolved,” he said.
Later, Immigration Department head of enforcement Datuk Ishak Mohamad said the department was now looking for at least 200 Bangladeshi illegal outsourcing agents who were responsible for bringing in Bangladeshi workers using forged working permits.