Deputy minister: Over 40,000 illegal immigrants repatriated through ‘Back for Good’ programme

Deputy Home Minister Datuk Mohd Azis Jamman said another 19,388 foreigners are waiting to return home. ― Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
Deputy Home Minister Datuk Mohd Azis Jamman said another 19,388 foreigners are waiting to return home. ― Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 24 — A total of 46,976 illegal immigrants have returned to their countries of origin voluntarily through the Back for Good (B4G) programme, since its implementation on August 1.

Deputy Home Minister Datuk Mohd Azis Jamman said another 19,388 foreigners are waiting to return home.

“The programme is fully managed by the Immigration Department of Malaysia (JIM) without the involvement of third parties such as vendors or agents and we have opened 80 counters at Immigration offices nationwide.

“The government has no intention of extending this offer after the programme ends,” he said during the oral question-and-answer session at the Dewan Rakyat today.

He was replying to Alice Lau Kiong Yieng (PH-Lanang) who wanted to know the steps taken by the government in helping those who want to return home without a valid passport.

The B4G programme implemented in Peninsular Malaysia until December 31 is aimed at giving illegal immigrants who have committed offences under the Immigration Act 1959/63, the chance to return to their countries of origin according to stipulated requirements.

The offences committed include those under Section 15(1)(c) for overstaying and Section 6(1)(c) for not having valid travel documents.

Meanwhile, Mohd Azis said the ministry was not planning to run such amnesty programme on a regular basis as the foreigners may take advantage of local laws and overstay after their visa has expired.

“They will make it a practice to enter the country legally, stay for a certain period of time as they are confident an amnesty programme will be held.

“Apart from facilitating their return, the B4G programme will enable us to blacklist those who have a history of entering our country legally and not leaving,” he said in response to a supplementary question from Datuk Salim Sharif (BN-Jempol) on whether the government would be running another amnesty programme after this. — Bernama

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