Nunukan, N Kalimantan (ANTARA) - The Malaysian government has again deported over a hundred Indonesian migrant workers who have completed their jail term after being imprisoned for immigration and criminal offenses in the state of Sabah.

The deportees boarded a vessel from Sabah's Tawau port, and arrived at Tunon Taka port in Nunukan district, North Kalimantan province, on Thursday afternoon.

They were received by local immigration officials, police officers, and representatives of the Agency for the Protection of Indonesian Migrant Workers (BP2MI).

They wore face masks, washed hands, and practiced physical distancing between themselves and the authorized people, as mandated in the Indonesian government's health protocols for containing the spread of COVID-19.

According to the Indonesian Consulate's document number 832/Kons/IX/2020, dated September 2, 2020, the deportees comprise 103 men, 22 women, and six toddlers.

Yuliansyah, a 31-year-old deportee hailing from Bulukumba district in South Sulawesi province, said he was detained for four months in Tawau's detention house over a drug case.

The deportees were taken from the Tunon Taka port to a temporary shelter in the Nunukan Selatan neighborhood before being allowed to return to their hometowns.

The Malaysian government has repeatedly deported undocumented and troubled Indonesian migrant workers over the past few years.

In August last year, for instance, Malaysia had deported 149 Indonesians, who had been detained in connection with several cases, to Nunukan district in North Kalimantan.

The 149 deportees comprised 12 who had been detained for their involvement in drug cases, three for criminal cases, 57 for overstaying, and 37 for illegally entering Malaysia. A total of 38 deportees had been born in Sabah.

Before being deported to Nunukan, the Indonesians had served their jail terms at the Kemanis Papar and Menggatal detention centers in Malaysia.

Amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Malaysian government has released several thousand undocumented Indonesian migrant workers from the country's immigration detention houses and repatriated them to Indonesia.

Prior to their repatriation, all the workers were examined using the Rapid Test Kit Antigen (RTK Antigen) method to check for the presence of coronavirus.

Like several countries across the globe, Malaysia has been striving to flatten the curve of COVID-19 infections and deal with the socio-economic impacts of the disease, which first emerged in the Chinese city of Wuhan at the end of 2019.

The Malaysian government had also enforced a movement control order (MCO) to slow down the spread of COVID-19 infections. (INE)

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Translator: Rusman, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Suharto
Copyright © ANTARA 2020