ArrowArtboardCreated with Sketch.Title ChevronTitle ChevronIcon FacebookIcon LinkedinIcon Mail ContactPath LayerIcon MailPositive ArrowIcon PrintIcon Twitter
International relations

Malaysia to deport thousands of migrants to Indonesia: Jakarta official

Move comes as Malaysia fights severe coronavirus outbreak

Migrant workers deported to Indonesia last year: Malaysia intends to send back another 7,200, according to an Indonesian government official.   © Reuters

JAKARTA (Reuters) -- Indonesia is preparing to receive thousands of deportees from Malaysia, a government official said on Friday, amid a crackdown there on undocumented workers and as the country suffers its most severe coronavirus outbreak so far.

Malaysia will send back about 7,200 people to Indonesia, which wants the most vulnerable people, including women and children held in detention centers, to be returned first, said Femmy Eka Kartika Putri of Indonesia's coordinating ministry 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.

But Malaysia has toughened its stance during the pandemic, arresting and deporting thousands of undocumented migrants. Coronavirus 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, in place until June 14.

Wahyu Susilo, 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 said. 

Sponsored Content

About Sponsored Content This content was commissioned by Nikkei's Global Business Bureau.

You have {{numberArticlesLeft}} free article{{numberArticlesLeft-plural}} left this monthThis is your last free article this month

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia;
the most dynamic market in the world.

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia

Get trusted insights from experts within Asia itself.

Get trusted insights from experts
within Asia itself.

Try 1 month for $0.99

You have {{numberArticlesLeft}} free article{{numberArticlesLeft-plural}} left this month

This is your last free article this month

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia; the most
dynamic market in the world
.

Get trusted insights from experts
within Asia itself.

Try 3 months for $9

Offer ends January 31st

Your trial period has expired

You need a subscription to...

  • Read all stories with unlimited access
  • Use our mobile and tablet apps
See all offers and subscribe

Your full access to Nikkei Asia has expired

You need a subscription to:

  • Read all stories with unlimited access
  • Use our mobile and tablet apps
See all offers
NAR on print phone, device, and tablet media

Nikkei Asian Review, now known as Nikkei Asia, will be the voice of the Asian Century.

Celebrate our next chapter
Free access for everyone - Sep. 30

Find out more