|People walk and take pictures along the Saloma Link Bridge in Kuala Lumpur on Dec 19, 2020. (File photo by=AFP/Mohd RASFAN)|
[Asia News = Reporter Reakkana] JAKARTA: Indonesia prepares to receive thousands of deportees from Malaysia, a government official said on Friday (Jun 11), amid a crackdown there on undocumented workers and as the country suffers its most severe coronavirus outbreak so far, according to Reuters.
Malaysia will send back about 7,200 people to Indonesia, which wants the most vulnerable people, like women and children held in detention centers, to be returned first, said Femmy Eka Kartika Putri of Indonesia's coordinating minister for human development. Millions of undocumented workers from Indonesia, Myanmar, and Nepal, and Bangladesh work in Malaysia, often in the plantation, construction, and manufacturing sectors. Malaysia however, has toughened its stance during the pandemic arresting and deporting thousands of undocumented migrants. COVID-19 cases and deaths hit record levels last month in Malaysia, which has the most cases per capita in Southeast Asia.
Malaysia's foreign ministry directed queries on the move to the immigration department, which declined to comment, but the plan comes amid a nationwide lockdown. Wahyu Susilo, the founder of the Migrant Care, a non-governmental group, said authorities were scrambling to accommodate the planned influx, with no system in place to ensure adequate care, such as social assistance. "There are no specific mitigation efforts post-deportation," he added.