KOTA KINABALU: Since 1 January until 30 July this year, about 114,559 individuals believed to be illegal immigrants (PATI) in Sabah have been inspected and detained at temporary detention centres across the state.
These facilities are handled by the National Security Council (MKN) Sabah, where illegals are placed while waiting to be deported to their home countries after investigation against them and their charges have been completed.
The Chief Minister, Datuk Seri Musa Aman, said the process of PATI deportation has also been intensified, where in 2013 about 13,222 PATI have been returned to their countries, and last year the number increased to 17,607.
Musa said in seven months period until 30 July, the recorded deportation completed is 15,366, which is more than half of this year’s target of 22,000 PATI to be sent home.
“To accommodate the dire need for a temporary facility for arrested PATi through enforcement operations that begun early this year, the government has decided to re-open the PTS detention centre in Menggatal.
“The PTS centre has been completed and begun its operation in 26 February this year under the management of the National Security Council with the name PTS Kota Kinabalu.
“The PTS have the facility to accommodate 2,100 PATI at one time. the opening of PTS Kota Kinabalu has able to reduce crowdings in other PTS and help to smooth the enforcement operation progress,” he said during the Sabah Foreign Workers Centralized Management Committee meeting.
Musa stressed that the government ahs taken a more proactive approach to improve cooperation and understanding with consulates of foreign countries where its citizens are frequently involved with PATI issue in the state.
He explained that the initiative has helped in speeding up the process to acquire Travel Document as part of the deportation procedure, subsequently reducing the amount of costs sustained by the government to accommodate PATI in PTS centres.
Musa also calls for all parties to work with the government in tackling the problem of illegal immigrants in Sabah.
He also warned employers not to hire or protect illegals, where stern action will be taken against anyone who are found guilty for the offence according to the law. – SayangSabah