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Around 5,300 Filipino are stranded at temporary detention centres in Sabah because of the pandemic that has shut down global borders.
The Philippines would not accept the illegal immigrants during the course of their Covid-19 lockdown, but as they ease into a more relaxed state, the process of repatriation is expected to begin later this month.
No Filipinos have been deported since the movement control order (MCO) was put in place on March 18, but Sabah National Security Council director Sharifah Sitti Saleha Habib Yussof notes that the process of deportation may begin as early as June 15.
However, Indonesian illegal immigrants were able to be deported even throughout the MCO and CMCO period. According to Sharifah, the Indonesian government has helped in the deportation process through their consulate in Sabah.
A total of 322 Indonesians who had entered Sabah illegally through Tawau were deported during this time.
Malaysia’s stance on illegal immigrants is to deport them back to their home country so they can enjoy their rights to a normal life there.
So far, Malaysia has deported a total of 3,753 illegal immigrants in 2020 alone, including those from Vietnam, China, and Pakistan.
Anne is an advocate of sustainable living and the circular economy, and has managed to mum-nag the team into using reusable containers to tapau food. She is also a proud parent of 4 cats and 1 rabbit.