Immigration to handle deportation of undocumented migrants, says Sabah security council chief

Julia Chan
·1-min read
A general view of the Immigration Detention Centre at Bukit Jalil May 25, 2020. The management of four temporary detention centres for undocumented migrants in Sabah has been transferred from the NSC to the Immigration Department. — Picture by Firdaus Latif
A general view of the Immigration Detention Centre at Bukit Jalil May 25, 2020. The management of four temporary detention centres for undocumented migrants in Sabah has been transferred from the NSC to the Immigration Department. — Picture by Firdaus Latif

KOTA KINABALU, Jan 1 — The management of four temporary detention centres for undocumented migrants in Sabah has been transferred from the National Security Council (NSC) to the Immigration Department.

From now on, the deportation of these migrants will be processed directly by the department, Sabah NSC director Sharifah Sitti Saleha Habib Yussof said today during the handover ceremony to Immigration director Datuk Muhammad Sade.

Sabah NSC was up till now in charge of the depots in Kota Kinabalu, Papar, Sandakan and Tawau.

“The move to give the Immigration Department the authority to manage the depots in the state is a strategic step as they are experienced and had the mechanism to manage such centres,” she said during the ceremony.

Sharifah said that she was confident that Immigration Department would be in a better position to coordinate and improve the deportation process of such immigrants.

Unlike other states in the country, Sabah’s temporary detention centres for undocumented migrants came under a federal special task force, which acted as the coordinator in deporting immigrants who trespassed into the country.

The decision to change management of the depots was made on October 14 last year.

Prior to that, the National Committee on Foreign Workers chaired by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin last September 6 agreed to a recommendation by Sabah’s technical committee.

The technical committee at that time agreed to the NSC recommendation to allow NSC to take charge of sending home foreign workers.

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