A total of 525 Filipinos were deported to their homeland today, said Sabah National Security Council (NSC) director Sh Sitti Saleha Habib Yussof.
“They were sent home from the Sandakan port to Zamboanga in the Philippines,” she said in a statement.
Sh Sitti Saleha said Sabah NSC would also be sending 158 Indonesians back to their homeland through Tawau port to Nunukan on Thursday (May 2).
She said the repatriation process of illegal immigrants to their homeland was a continuation of the government's commitment to tackle the problem of illegal immigrants entering the state.
The government had also taken proactive measures to detect and capture illegal immigrants by launching various integrated operations managed by the NSC, the Immigration Department, the Royal Malaysia Police, the Eastern Sabah Security Command and the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency, she said.
"Since 1990, the number of those deported including those who left voluntarily was 581,947.
"The number of illegal immigrants who had been sent home last year was 13,479," she said.
The number of deportations managed by the Sabah NSC for this year reached 4,115 as of today, including 90 who were sent by air.
Sh Sitti Saleha said there were a series of 19 deportations of illegal immigrants that were conducted in Sabah this year. The NSC had reminded the people in Sabah that the responsibility of freeing the state from illegal immigrants should not be the task of the government alone.
“It is a serious offence under the Immigration Act 1959/1963 (Amendment 2002) against any party found to protect, employ or allow illegal immigrants in their premises,” she added.