The Home Ministry is in the midst of formulating a holistic enforcement plan to address illegal immigrants (Illegal Immigrant Rehiring Programme, Pati) as a more comprehensive effort towards strengthening governance and improving the existing enforcement system.
Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said the plan was aimed at addressing the influx of illegal immigrants in the country and would involve strategic cooperation among many relevant ministries and agencies.
It will also involve the state governments, local authorities, village community management councils and village development and security committees.
“The objective of the plan is to create an uncomfortable ecosystem for the Pati to continue living their lives here by empowering the enforcement agencies and regulatory authorities, as well as by enhancing strategic cooperation and public awareness,” Muhyiddin said in a statement issued in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.
The minister explained that the plan would be implemented in five years and would focus on five strategies.
The five strategies are:
- Enforcement Operation Strategy which underlines the implementation plan relating to enforcement operations against Pati nationwide;
- Legislative and Enforcement Policy Strategy which underlines the implementation plan relating to the drafting of new laws and coordination of policies on the enforcement against Pati;
- Entry Point and Border Control Strategy, which underlines the implementation plan relating to security control and monitoring activities at the country’s borders and entry points;
- Foreigners Management Strategy, which underlines the coordination plan of policies relating to foreign nationals; and
- Media and Publicity Strategy, which underlines the plan relating to media coverage, publicity and awareness programmes on Pati.
Muhyiddin said the ministry was aware that the influx of Pati in Malaysia remained a national issue which had yet to be tackled completely.
“The issue has caused great concern among the public as it not only touches the aspects of national and border security, but also brings about a huge impact on the country’s political stability and economic growth,” he explained.
He said the ministry, through the Immigration Department and with the cooperation from other enforcement agencies, especially the Royal Malaysia Police and the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency, would continue carrying out enforcement operations at locations identified as foreigners’ hotspots.
For the record, between Jan 1 and June 4 this year, the Immigration Department had carried out 7,940 operations, during which almost 100,000 foreigners were screened.
Legal action had also been taken against 23,295 Pati, with Indonesian nationals making up the highest number of those arrested at 8,011 (34 percent), followed by Bangladeshis (5,272 or 23 percent) and the remaining comprising those from Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand and others.
A total of 26,116 Pati had also been deported to their country of origin during the same period.