The Malaysian authorities have detained more Bangladeshis in a drive on a market at Jalan Silang in Kuala Lumpur conducted as part of the ongoing crackdown on illegal immigrants.
A Bangladeshi businessman in the area said the number of detained Bangladeshis would be 50 to 60, including some women.
Malaysian departments of immigration and customs and Kula Lumpur City Corporation jointly conducted the raid for around two and a half hours from 12pm on Saturday.
Kota Roya Bangladeshi Traders’ Association President Rashed Badal told bdnews24.com that the authorities checked whether the businesses at the market were following the laws.
“They have warned us against employing illegal immigrants,” he said.
“They detained 50 to 60 Bangladeshi customers during the drive,” he added.
The Bangladesh High Commission in Kuala Lumpur, however, could not confirm how many Bangladeshis were detained in the raid.
Crackdown on illegal immigrants
After hundreds of Bangladeshis were detained in the crackdown on illegal immigrants in Malaysia last month, Bangladesh Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment Minister Nurul Islam said on July 16 that “Malaysia has suspended the crackdown because of the Bangladesh government’s initiative.”
Bangladeshis made up nearly half of the 1,035 foreign nationals detained on July 1, the first day of Malaysia’s crackdown on illegal immigration, according to the local media.
The detainees did not have the necessary enforcement card (e-card) or permits for temporary residence or work, authorities said.
Malaysia’s immigration department had accepted applications for e-cards for four months until Jun 30.
During this time, 26,957 companies applied for e-cards for 155,650 workers from 15 countries.
The majority of applicants were Bangladeshis totalling 71,903.
The Bangladesh High Commission earlier said the e-card grants permission to stay until Feb 15 next year.
This means that those without a valid passport or permission to work may stay and work in Malaysia until Feb 14.
It is possible for the foreign nationals with e-cards to obtain passports and travel documents from their embassies for a new work permit within that time.
Malaysian authorities have warned that those who stay past the deadline will be deported.
According to The Sun Daily, over 600,000 illegal immigrants live in Malaysia, and only 23 percent of them have received e-cards.