Saturday, August 23, 2003

Malaysia vows to deport 250 Acehnese
despite UN protests

Illegal immigrants from neighbouring Indonesia squat on the ground behind police lines after being arrested in Kuala Lumpur Aug. 19, 2003. Malaysia will deport some 250 Acehnese arrested as they tried to seek asylum at the UN refugee agency's office here, despite protests from the UN body. AFP
KUALA LUMPUR (AFP) - Malaysia will deport some 250 Acehnese arrested as they tried to seek asylum at the UN refugee agency's office here, Deputy Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said Wednesday, despite protests from the UN body.
Malaysia's stand on the asylum seekers from the war-torn Indonesian province of Aceh would be no different to that on other illegal immigrants, said Abdullah, who is also the home minister.
"If foreigners are found without valid entry permits, they will be sent back. This is the law of the country," he was quoted as saying by the Malay Mail newspaper.
An immigration officer told AFP that the Acehnese migrants arrested on Tuesday had been transported from Kuala Lumpur to the northern Perak state where they were being held in the Langkap detention camp.
"They are all in good condition. We are taking down their details. And they will be deported," the immigration officer said.
Perak is opposite Aceh, across the narrow Malacca Strait.


The above article appeared in the Borneo Bulletin of August 21, 2003