PUTRAJAYA, April 20 — The warning system at the Immigration Detention Depots in Bidor, Perak and Beranang, Selangor have been activated to ensure the incident at Sungai Bakap Immigration Detention Depot did not recur.          

Immigration director-general Datuk Seri Khairul Dzaimee Daud said security at the two depots has been stepped up as they were formerly National Service Training Programme (PLKN) camps.

“All commandants have contacted the nearest police stations and activated the warning system as we do not want the incident to inspire copycats at other centres,” he told reporters here today.

In the early morning incident, 528 ethnic Rohingya detainees escaped from the Sungai Bakap Immigration Detention Depot in Penang and six of the escapees were killed when attempting to cross the North-South Expressway at Kilometre 168 southbound near Jawi, Nibong Tebal.

Khairul Dzaimee however clarified that the Sungai Bakap depot was a former PLKN camp and it is used to place refugees who are Covid-19 positive.

“(A total of) 528 detainees housed at the Sungai Bakap Temporary Immigration Depot were originally detained in the waters of Langkawi in 2019 and they were later placed at Langkawi Wawasan Camp. When the camp was closed in 2021, the refugees were later moved to several depots among them in Sungai Bakap,” he said.

Commenting on allegations of deaths at the depot which sparked tension among the refugees, Khairul Dzaimee said there was one death due to sickness but it was not related to the incident.

He said the reason for the escape is still being investigated.

In this regard, he said police, the Immigration Department, Rela and members of the public are tracking down the remaining escapees still at large.

In Ipoh, Perak police chief Datuk Mior Faridalathrash Wahid said no escapees have been captured in Perak so far.

He said police mounted 243 roadblocks at 54 locations at state’s northern borders in Kerian, Selama and Taiping which are close to Penang and Kedah.

He told reporters after the wearing of ranks ceremony for 303 Royal Malaysian Police Volunteer Reserve (SSPDRM) officers and personnel at the Air Force Training Base here today. — Bernama