More than 1,000 undocumented immigrants arrested in Malaysia

Photo: More than 1,000 undocumented immigrants arrested in Malaysia  / Other News

More than 1,000 undocumented workers were arrested Tuesday in Malaysia in a renewed government sweep against the country's suspected hundreds of thousands of illegal migrants, officials said.

A total of 1,190 people were arrested in the 12 Malaysian states, with Kuala Lumpur reporting the biggest figure of 464 illegal workers detained since the sweep started before dawn, according to data from the immigration department, dpa reported.

Many of the foreigners arrested were from Bangladesh, Indonesia, Myanmar, Nepal, the Philippines, Pakistan, India and Vietnam, an immigration official said.

Malaysia's Home Minister Zahid Hamidi said the crackdown was launched at the end of a three-month government programme to register illegal immigrants, which began on October 21.

"We discontinued the programme ... as employers were given enough time to process all their workers' documents," he said.

Zahid said at least 10,000 officers from the immigration, police and civilian security forces were involved in the operation, adding that 15 detention centres have been set-up nationwide to hold the detainees before deportation.

Zahid had launched an operation against illegal immigrants on September 1 but stopped it a month later to give employers more time to register their foreign workers.

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