The Immigration Department has detained 30,000 undocumented migrants since Jan 1, its director-general Seri Mustafar Ali said today.
Mustafar added that over 1,000 employers were also detained during the period for employing or harbouring these undocumented migrants.
"The detentions are the result of more than 10,000 operations carried out nationwide with over 100,000 foreigners examined.
"We gave undocumented migrants the opportunity to surrender themselves voluntarily through the 3+1 programme which ended on Aug 30.
"In addition, we implemented the Rehiring Programme, which was terminated on June 30. However, we still find many who do not adhere to the set procedures," he said.
Mustafar was speaking to reporters after the operation codenamed Ops Mega in Kota Kinabalu early today. He was joined by Deputy Home Minister Mohd Azis Jamman.
He said that despite a large number of operations carried out, there were still many undocumented migrants located throughout the country.
"Although we have introduced several programmes, many still refuse to surrender, including employers. After the Rehiring Programme, we implemented Ops Mega 3.0 and of the hundreds of operations that we have conducted, we have arrested more than 1,000 undocumented migrants from over 7,000 who were inspected.
"We do not want to compromise on the issue of undocumented migrants... because there are many other problems that will arise from this, for example, in relation to health issues and drug abuse," he said.
Meanwhile, commenting on the operation carried out at the Sepanggar and Kota Kinabalu areas from midnight to 4am today, Mustafar said 58 undocumented migrants were detained.
"This operation will continue throughout the country, and we want our country to be free of undocumented migrants," he added.