KOTA KINABALU – The Immigration Department is expected to take over supervision of all temporary detention centres (PTS) in Sabah from the National Security Council (NSC), said Immigration Department director-general Datuk Seri Mustafar Ali today.
He said the federal and state governments had agreed, on principle, on the matter during the Eastern Sabah Security Zone (ESSZone) Advisory Board meeting, co-chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman, here on April 17.
“In a number of operations against illegal immigrants in Sabah, we have always conducted them in an integrated manner with other relevant agencies such as the NSC, the police, local authorities and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).
“Whenever we mobilised an integrated operation, it was administered under the Immigration Act 1959/63, either it involved arrest due to abuse of visit pass or no valid travel document, or the deportation process (of illegal immigrants to their country of origin),” he said.
He was speaking to reporters after officiating the Excellence Service Award (APC) 2016 of the Immigration Department of Sabah and Labuan here.
Therefore, Mustafar said, on issues related to the Immigration Act, including PTS, should be supervised by the Immigration Department.
He said the implementation of the PTS supervision transition process, would involve 500 officers and personnel, to manage all four centres in the state, namely in Manggatal, Papar, Tawau and Sandakan.
The department was in discussion with the Public Service Commission (PSC) to determine the transition of NSC personnel at the detention centres to Immigration Department, he said.
On operations against illegal immigrants, he said that it would continue to be conducted in an integrated manner.
Earlier, Sabah Immigration Department director Musa Sulaiman said a total of 2,288 operations were carried out last year with more than 10,000 illegal immigrants detained.
According to him, the main factor that contributed to the presence of illegal immigrants in the state was due to smuggling and the cooperation of relevant agencies to operate in an integrated manner was required to solve the problem. – BERNAMA