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9 Filipinos arrested in Malaysia

Nine Filipinos have so far been apprehended following the start of Malaysia’s crackdown on illegal immigrants last Sept. 1, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) disclosed yesterday.

The DFA said based on a report from the Philippine Embassy in Kuala Lumpur, eight of the Filipinos were arrested by Malaysian immigration authorities in Labuan Federal Territory while the other one was apprehended in Bintulu, Sarawak.

The embassy already advised Filipinos to fully complete their immigration documentation and always carry proper identification documents in light of the crackdown.

“We wish to remind our Filipino nationals to have proper documents, notably work permit or passport with valid visa, and carry it with them in case of immigration checks, in order to avoid inconvenience,” Philippine Ambassador to Malaysia J. Eduardo Malaya said in an earlier statement.

“Also, Filipinos who wish to enter Malaysia for work should have approved work permits or similar papers as they start their jobs here.”

According to news reports, at least 2,433 illegal immigrants have so far been arrested since the crackdown commenced last Sunday.

Those apprehended are mostly Indonesians (717), Myanmar nationals (555), Bangladeshi nationals (387), and Nepali nationals (229).

Last Monday, Ambassador Malaya discussed with Minister for Home Affairs Dato’ Sri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi last Monday the concerns of Filipinos in Malaysia, including access to education by Filipino school-aged children.

Ambassador Malaya also requested humane treatment for Filipinos who may be affected by the campaign against illegal immigrants. (Roy C. Mabasa)