- Title: MALAYSIA: MALAYSIA CRACKS DOWN ON ILLEGAL WORKERS
- Date: 1st March 2005
- Summary: (BN02) KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA (MARCH 1, 2005) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) 1. SLV OF MALAYSIAN VOLUNTEER FORCE RELA, MEMBERS ASSEMBLING BEFORE RAID OPERATIONS 0.03 2. SV VOLUNTEER FORCE OFFICIAL BRIEFING VOLUNTEERS 0.12 3. SLV VOLUNTEERS TRUCKS MOVING OUT FOR RAIDS 0.21 4. SLV VOLUNTEERS DISEMBARKING FROM BUSSES FOR RAIDS 0.30 5. SLV VOLUNTEERS GOING ON RAIDS 0.33 6. SLV VOLUNTEERS ON FOOT PATROLS 0.37 7. SLV VOLUNTEERS SCALING SAND DUMPS LOOKING FOR ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS 0.44 8. SV VOLUNTEER USING TORCHLIGHT LOOKING FOR ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS 0.53 9. SLV VOLUNTEERS WITH TORCHLIGHTS 0.57 10. SLV VOLUNTEER WITH TORCHLIGHT CHECKING WORKERS QUARTERS IN CHERAS 1.04 11. SLV VOLUNTEERS CHECKING WORKERS QUARTERS 1.07 12. SLV VOLUNTEERS BRINGING TWO MIGRANT WORKERS FOUND AT CONSTRUCTION SITE 1.18 13. SLV VOLUNTEERS WITH MORE MIGRANT WORKERS 1.30 14. SV VOLUNTEERS WITH MIGRANT WORKERS (2 SHOTS) 1.44 15. PAN MIGRANT WORKERS SQUATTING AS VOLUNTEERS SURROUND THEM 2.00 16. SLV MIGRANT WORKERS 2.03 17. CU MIGRANT WORKER SHOWING HER INDONESIAN PASSPORT 2.07 18. SV MIGRANT WORKER LAUGHING AS SHE SHOWS HER PASSPORT 2.10 19. SLV MIGRANT WORKERS SQUATTING AT CONSTRUCTION SITE 2.14 20. SV MIGRANT WORKERS SQUATTING AS VOLUNTEER GIVES THEM INSTRUCTIONS 2.22 21. SLV MIGRANT WORKERS WALKING IN SINGLE FILE 2.30 22. SLV MIGRANT WORKERS WALKING OUT OF CONSTRUCTION SITE 2.35 23. SLV MIGRANT WORKERS BEING TAKEN INTO TRUCKS 2.38 24. SV MIGRANT WORKERS ENTERING TRUCKS 2.45 25. SV VOLUNTEER FORCE OFFICIALS COUNTING NUMBER OF MIGRANT WORKERS DETAINED/WORKERS WAITING (2 SHOTS) 3.03 26. MCU (Part Bahasa Malaysia and English) VOLUNTEER FORCE OPERATION DIRECTOR MUHAMMAD AMINUDDIN YUSOF SAYING: "I would like to call today's operation a success. We have made checks and those with documents, we have released but those without any valid documents will be sent to the detention centres. There are some that we have to confirm whether it is legal or not legal documents. So, we are pending this group to ensure their document. The operation, we will continue until the higher authorities ask us to stop." 3.43 27. LV MIGRANT WORKERS SITTING ON THE GROUND WAITING TO ENTER TRUCKS 3.50 Initials Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
- Embargoed: 16th March 2005 12:00
- Location: KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA
- Country: Malaysia
- Reuters ID: LVACUGALLRBDVIES5E8XCHNUL8T8
- Story Text: Malaysia cracks down on illegal workers.
Malaysian officials began a nationwide roundup of
illegal immigrants on Tuesday (March 1), launching
night-time raids on building sites, plantations and
In one early-morning raid witnessed by Reuters,
immigration officials armed with pistols stormed workers'
huts at a muddy construction site outside the capital,
rousing 243 labourers from their sleep and finding 19
without proper papers.
"I would like to call today's operation a success. We
have made checks and those with documents, we have released
but those without any valid documents will be sent to the
detention centres," said Muhammad Aminuddin Yusof,
operations director of a volunteer force spearheading the
campaign to drive out illegal migrants, most of whom come
from poorer neighbour Indonesia.
"There are some that we have to confirm whether it is
legal or not legal documents. So, we are pending this group
to ensure their document. The operation, we will continue
until the higher authorities ask us to stop."
Similar scenes played out across the country in the
first hours of Malaysia's biggest crackdown on illegal
immigrants since 2002.
The round-up follows a four-month amnesty, which ended
at midnight on Monday (February 28), under which about
400,000 illegal workers have left the country without
punishment, authorities say.
An estimated 200,000 to 400,000 remain, willing to run
the risk of a fine and jail or a whipping for men younger
Authorities have said migrants detained after the
deadline will be barred from ever returning to Malaysia
while those who left voluntarily under the amnesty have
been offered the chance to return, provided they re-enter
through legal channels.
Malaysia suffers a chronic shortage of labour and
relies heavily on cheap workers from Indonesia, just a
ferry-boat ride away, to take up unskilled or semi-skilled
work at construction sites, factories, plantations and
But the government is concerned these workers do not
pay tax and put a heavy burden on the state, which runs a
Volunteer force officials said about 25,000 of the
300,000 members of his force had been trained and deployed
to flush out illegal workers, relying on public tip-offs to
flush out the illegals.
Led by six armed officers, about 400 volunteers marched
into the construction site at Cheras, 8 km (5 miles) from
the centre of Kuala Lumpur, and trudged through mud to
reach the workers' huts, woke up the labourers, and lined
them up in rows.
Immigration officials said that 22 of the 243 workers
raided were from the Indonesian province of Aceh, which was
devastated by the Dec. 26 tsunami. Human rights group worry
that Acehnese will be deported and have no home to return
The name Aceh was painted in red ink on the plywood
door of one of the workers' huts. One Acehnese worker had a
U.N. document showing he was a refugee, and authorities
Raids to hunt illegal migrants were also being carried
out in Malaysia's eastern states of Sabah and Sarawak, he
added, but he had no results of those operations yet.
The round-up promises to be Malaysia's largest such
operation since 2002, when human rights groups criticised
it for holding people in overcrowded detention centres and
deporting them en masse, including some likely to be
To avoid overcrowding this time, the government plans
to use vacant low-cost housing projects to hold detainees,
in addition to detention centres, officials have said.
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