Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Malaysia, Myanmar Eye Swapping Immigration Detainees

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 17 (Bernama) -- Malaysia and Myanmar are mulling over the possibility of implementing an exchange programme for immigration detainees, said Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein.

He said there were currently around 1,000 Myanmar nationals at detention centres in this country. However, the number of Malaysian immigration detainees in Myanmar was not made available.

"It'll help reduce the numbers in our detention camps and show a good relationship between Malaysia and Myanmar in relation to immigration and movement of workers in the region," he told reporters after receiving Myanmar's Deputy Foreign Minister U Maung Myint (HE) here, today.

About 257,000 Myanmar nationals had registered under the "6P" programme, of which 144,098 were illegals immigrants. The programme is a massive legalisation and amnesty exercise for illegal immigrants conducted by Malaysian authorities.

"Since not all of them (Myanmar illegal immigants) will be employed, cooperation between both countries is important to ensure that the repatriation process runs smoothly," Hishammuddin said.

Hishammuddin said Malaysia and Myanmar would establish a joint working committee to address immigration as well as crime-related issues involving the two countries. It is expected to hold its first meeting next week.

Elaborating, the minister said Kuala Lumpur would cooperate closely with Myanmar to tackle cross-border crimes involving drugs, weapons and human trafficking.

"The issue of fraudulent travel documents is also in our focus, with 46 cases involving Myanmar nationals detected last year as well as 13 cases up till August this year," Hishammuddin said.


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