Hamzah: Large-scale ops to ensure illegals get vaccinated

Hamzah: Large-scale ops to ensure illegals get vaccinated

SEMENYIH: The plan to carry out large-scale operations to detain illegal immigrants during the Movement Control Order period is aimed at ensuring that they have valid documents for vaccination purposes, said Home Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin.

He said this was because the government could not give the vaccine to those without valid personal documents, adding that the vaccination exercise was aimed at achieving herd immunity to protect the people.

“Some parties had objected to the plan (to detain illegal immigrants) but it has to be made clear that if those detained do not have (valid) documents, how are we to include them in the vaccination programme?

“The government cannot give vaccines to this group because every vaccination registration programme requires valid documents,“ he told newsmen after visiting a temporary immigration depot at the Eco Millennium National Service Training Camp in Beranang, near here, today.

Hamzah was responding to statements issued by several opposition MPs and state assemblymen regarding the position of illegal immigrants in the national vaccination programme.

“If they are not detained, will they go out to get vaccinated? That is why they are detained and we will investigate whether they have an employer or otherwise,“ he said.

He said the next step would be to work with the employers involved to ask them to go to the embassy of each illegal immigrant to obtain valid documents before the group can receive the vaccine.

Hamzah also invited the MPs and state assemblymen who objected to the government’s plan to help sponsor illegal immigrants detained as well as employers to facilitate the process of obtaining their legal documents.

Meanwhile, Hamzah said a total of 78,530 out of 97,891 illegal immigrants had been sent back to their respective countries through the Recalibration Programme from December 21, 2020 to June 1.

He said about 108,000 foreigners were in the process of applying for Temporary Employment Visit Passes.

“Based on that total number, about 200,000 foreigners in the country were successfully identified through the programme conducted by the Immigration Department and a total of 5,009 employers registered in the programme wanted to register foreigners to work with them,” he said.

“Discussions with the embassies of Myanmar, China, Indonesia and others on this matter are done and we want to make sure those who are here have documents for the repatriation process or other matters,“ he said. — Bernama