Filipinos in Malaysia warned of new crackdown on illegalsBy Tarra Quismundo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines—The Philippine Embassy in Kuala Lumpur has called on Filipinos to complete their immigrant documentation and carry their papers at all times after the Malaysian government initiated a new crackdown on illegals this month.
In a statement, Philippine Ambassador to Malaysia Eduardo Malaya reminded Filipinos to always bring their passports with valid visas and work permits with them as Malaysian authorities conduct immigration checks on foreign nationals.
“We wish to remind our Filipino nationals to have proper documents, notably work permit or passport with valid visa, and carry it with them in case of immigration checks, in order to avoid inconvenience. Also, Filipinos who wish to enter Malaysia for work should have approved work permits or similar papers as they start their jobs here,” Malaya said.
On Sunday, Malaysian authorities started an operation to apprehend undocumented foreigners across Malaysia. The crackdown has so far led to the arrest of some 2,433 foreign nationals, but no Filipinos is known to be among them, the embassy said.
Among those arrested were illegals from Indonesia, Myanmar, Bangladesh, and Nepal.
“We checked with the immigration detention facility in Putrajaya, and we were informed that Filipinos are not among those arrested and currently held in said facility,” Consul General Medardo Macaraig said in the statement.
Philippine Embassy officials made the rounds of areas where Filipinos are known to hang out in Kuala Lumpur, including Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock, a popular commercial area in the Malaysian capital.
Malaya also met with Malaysian Minister for Home Affairs Dato’ Sri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi on Monday to discuss concerns of the Philippine community in Malaysia, requesting in particular that Filipinos who may be arrested in the crackdown be accorded humane treatment.
The envoy said the embassy regularly conducts consular missions around Malaysia to make sure that Filipinos get proper documentation.
“To ensure that our nationals have the proper documents, the Embassy continuously undertakes mobile consular missions particularly in Sabah, where we provide not just passports but also birth documentations for our nationals there. We deploy twice a month a consular mobile team of six to seven personnel for two-week stay in Sabah,” Malaya said.