Hundreds arrested in Malaysian major crackdown
21 January 2013: A large-scale crackdown operation started last night by Malaysian authorities has arrested more than 1,500 people, mostly believed to be undocumented immigrants.
Salai Robert, a Chin refugee based in Kuala Lumpur, tells Chinland Guardian that it is not easy to get the exact number at the moment but over 150 people from Burma have been reported as having been arrested.
He also says that many Chin refugees and asylum seekers don’t even go to work in fear of the arrest, adding: “People are frightened and they couldn’t even sleep last night.”
According to the Sun Daily, Malaysia’s government deploys some 10,000 enforcement personnel from the Immigration Department, Royal Malaysia Police and People’s Volunteer Corps (Rela).
Another Chin refugee, mother of a young baby, says they are so worried as many people have been arrested around the area they stay.
Salai Robert adds that the Malaysian personnel not only stop suspected individuals on the streets but also raid houses.
Plans to conduct the nationwide operation had been announced following the expiration of the three-month special programme that allowed illegal immigrants to get registered by the government.
According to media reports, Malaysian Deputy Interior Minister Junaidi Wan Tuanku Jaafar who led the operation in Kuala Lumpur said that illegal arrestees would be deported to their own countries and that the Malaysian government would not be responsible for the cost.
Sources from Malaysia said that the crackdown exercise could continue for weeks, even months, in the future.#