Govt repatriates 404 Indonesian nationals from Malaysia`s detention centers

Jakarta  (ANTARA News) - The Indonesian government has repatriated vulnerable 404 citizens deported from the Malaysia`s immigration detention center, according to the Indonesian Embassy in Kuala Lumpur and Consulate General in Johor Bahru.

Out of the total citizens, 222 people were repatriated from Johor Bahru by ship from Pasir Gudang Port and Stulang Port to Tanjung Pinang in Riau Islands, according to a statement from Indonesia`s Ministry of Foreign Affairs received here on Wednesday.

Upon their arrival in Tanjung Pinang, they were taken care by the Ministry of Social Affairs and sent home, most of them to Sumatra area.

While the other 182 people who were coming from Java Island, West Nusa Tenggara, and East Nusa Tenggara, were repatriated from Kuala Lumpur by plane to Jakarta.

Upon their arrival in Soekarno-Hatta Airport, they were taken care and sent home by the National Board for the Placement and Protection of Indonesian Overseas Workers.

Those 404 Indonesian citizens were comprising 392 women and 12 children. The Malaysian government had stopped funding deportation of illegal entries since mid 2017 due to their internal affairs.

In regards to the matter, by the end of May 2018, at least 3 thousand illegal migrants from Indonesia were still detained in 13 detention centers in Malaysia.

Most of them had been detained for months, including 377 women and children.

Hence, following up Indonesian Ambassador to Malaysia Rusdi Kirana`s visit to some detention centers, the Indonesia`s Ministry of Foreign Affairs finally took a policy to repatriate the vulnerable citizens.

"Hopefully, by this effort, they could celebrate Eid with the family in their hometown," he noted.

According to current data, 27,842 Indonesian nationals had been repatriated from Malaysia in 2016 and 17,153 people in the first semester of 2017.

The Malaysian authority claims that half of 2.5 million illegal migrants in the country are the citizens of Indonesia.

"The two countries should work together to come with a solution for this issue as the Indonesian migrant workers in Malaysia could contribute positively to the two countries` development," Kirana said.