KUCHING, Oct 20, 2015:

Their willingness to pay higher rent rates makes them the preferred tenants in Miri.

And this is among the reasons the community can be found in Miri as landlords prefer to reap their earnings rather than to inform authorities of their presence.

State Immigration director Datuk Mohd Zulfikar Ahmad said this conclusion was arrived at following a crackdown on Suluks in the state sometime in June this year.

“They make profitable tenants,” he said in a press conference today.

Rent rates in Miri starts at RM1,000 onward, making it among the expensive ones in the state.

More than 1,000 illegal immigrants from the Southern Philippines were deported in June this year after Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem ordered a crackdown on the illegal immigrants in March.

Adenan also pointed out the presence of these illegal immigrants in the state was facilitated by unscrupulous businessman.

Mohd Zulfikar said currently, there were 28 Suluks detained at the Miri Immigration Deport in the process of deportation.

“We need the public assistance to ensure this crackdown is a success.”

Local fishermen in Miri reported the presence of Suluks in March, accusing them of jeopardising the fishing industry because they were bombing and poisoning the water for their catch.

On a related matter, a total of 1,599 foreign workers were detained for various immigration offences up to October this year in 402 operations.

Those detained included eight local employers.

The State Immigration Department had issued 3,180 I-Card to registered foreign workers to date, which were classified according to industry.

“We have just introduced this card in the state this month and we are reaching out to employers to get their workers registered,” said Mohd Zulfikar.

Currently, there were more than 100,000 foreign workers in the state, of which 80% were Indonesian nationals working in the plantation industry.

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