November 15, 2019
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Malaysia uncertain on illegal Myanmar migrants’ transfer

Aye Myint, the Labour Minister said on September 12 that Myanmar has had discussions with the Malaysian Minister of Home Affairs to release detained Myanmar migrant workers.

The Malaysian government’s ongoing operation on illegal migrant workers has arrested thousands of migrants, including 600 from Myanmar. Myanmar nationals are the third largest among those detained.

Minister Aye Myint could not clarify whether the Malaysian government has agreed to transfer them.  

He said, “I will have to wait for the Malaysian government’s decision on what actions they will take up on the illegal migrant workers.”

Although the Malaysian government had set a three months mission to crack down on illegal migrant workers, it has reduced the momentum of operations during negotiations with the Myanmar government.

Myanmar has made agreements with the Malaysian Home Affairs Minister to open a center at the Myanmar Embassy in Kuala Lumpur to provide legal papers for Myanmar citizens and to facilitate meetings with Malaysian businessmen who are interested in employing them.

In addition, Myanmar and Malaysia has agreed on three other points, including transfer of illegal Myanmar migrants without payment of over-stay fine.

He added, “Myanmar illegal workers who went to Malaysia without any job offers will be brought back to Myanmar and they will not have to pay any fines. However, they must be Myanmar citizens. Some other nationals have claimed that they are Myanmar citizens. Myanmar and Malaysian immigration will investigate these claims and verify that they are Myanmar citizens.”

Furthermore, a mobile team, comprising both Myanmar and Malaysian immigration officials will go and provide legal documents for Myanmar workers currently employed in various industries including the fishing sector and cannot travel to the Myanmar Embassy in Kuala Lumpur.

There are 250000 Myanmar migrant workers in Malaysia. Although, 14000 of them have work permits and 8000 of them possess UNHCR documents, 110000 do not have any legal documents.

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