April 17, 2021

Malaysian government brushes off accusations of ‘camps’

KUALA LUMPUR, 01 August 2016 – Malaysian government has brushed off accusations from Burmese nationals who described detention centers meant for undocumented migrants in the country as ‘hells’.

Malaysian Immigration Department Director General Sukib Kusmi defended detention facilities in the country saying that ‘no detainee had died due to lack of medical care’.

He said that detention centers nationwide, better known as ‘camps’ among migrant workers, were following international standards and his department had been working with non-govermental organizations to look into the welfare of undocumented workers detained there.

According to Sukib, deaths in the centers were usually due to medical complications from pre-existing diseases such as tuberculosis and malaria.

He stressed that sick detainees were isolated and provided with adequate treatment from medical experts.

Migrant detention centers in Malaysia have come under spotlight after several Burmese nationals, who were deported back to their home country, shared their ‘hellish’ experience while being detained in Malaysia.

According to Myanmar Times, one Burmese national said that he had been suffering from leg pain for seven months but had not received any treatment while he was detained for a year in one of the ‘camps’ in Kuala Lumpur.

Another detainee, who was locked inside a center in Kedah, a northern state in Malaysia, described life as “a nightmare”.

In reply to the ‘nightmarish’ accusations, Malaysian Deputy Home Minister Nur Jazlan Mohamed said sick detainees were provided with proper treatment.

He said detention centers were not meant to be too comfortable but detainees were treated in a humane way.

“Detention centers in the country are fit for service and adequately equipped,” he said as quoted by Malay Mail, a Malaysian daily.#

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