The Philippine Embassy in Kuala Lumpur on Friday is ready to provide assistance to Filipinos affected by the ongoing crackdown against undocumented migrants by the Malaysian government.
It will also make representations with and coordinate with relevant Malaysian authorities with reference to the case of a Filipino who was allegedly maltreated by Malaysian immigration authorities in Sabah, and in possible cases of maltreatment against arrested Filipinos. The embassy is also sending one of its personnel to Sabah to check on the conditions of nationals there and provide the necessary assistance.
“In addition, the embassy is further validating reports of arrest of Filipinos in light of the Malaysian Government’s crackdown against illegal migrants which began last January 21. We stand ready to provide help, including the provision of needed documents and other forms of assistance,” the embassy said.
“We respect the right of the Malaysian government to implement its immigration laws, and at the same time, we are hopeful that the authorities implementing the crackdown will adhere to the rule of law and observe proper and humane treatment of those arrested,” it added.
Even before the crackdown, the embassy has been assisting undocumented nationals since September, when there was an announcement of an initial crackdown.
“The Embassy coordinated with Malaysian immigration authorities in facilitating the release of exit passes and in the decrease of penalties levied on overstaying foreigners. Embassy representatives have been on hand when these Filipinos apply for their exit passes and taking them by the busloads to the Immigration office. We still are and will be undertaking the same assistance for our nationals,” it said.
“To ensure that our nationals have the proper documents, the embassy continuously undertakes mobile consular missions particularly in Sabah, where we provide not just passports but also birth documentations and other forms of assistance to our nationals there last year. We deployed a consular mobile team of six to seven personnel for two-week stay in Sabah twice a month,” the embassy added.
The consular missions have visited Kota Kinabalu, Lahad Datu, Semporna, Tawau, Kudat, Keningau, Kota Marudu and Sandakan in Sabah and Kuching, Labuan, Miri and Bintulu in Sarawak during its missions last year. It will undertake this year’s first consular mission to Kota Kinabalu this month.
The embassy continues to ask Filipino nationals to fully complete their immigration documentation and always carry proper identification documents to avoid inconvenience in case of immigration checks, and also asked employers and agents to hand over any passport and other identification document to their Filipino employees for the latter’s safety and protection.
The embassy also reiterates its appeal to those who wish to work in Malaysia to make sure that they have approved work permits or similar papers before they come over or start their work in the country. PNA