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Workers can return but not with families NUNUKAN - Thousands of Indonesians expelled from Malaysia for working there illegally are allowed to return once their papers are in order, officials said yesterday, but not with their families. Thousands of foreign plantation and construction workers fled Malaysia with the expiry of an Aug 1 deadline for all illegal immigrants to leave.
Mny of the Indonesians ended up in makeshift camps dotting the island of Nunukan in east Kalimantan. About 6,000 have returned to Malaysia in the past week, leaving around 13,200 - excluding dependants - still stuck in Nunukan awaiting documents, said Mr Kasmir Foret, who heads an Indonesian team handling the deportee crisis.
'Malaysia says these people cannot take along their unemployed wives and their children. 'We are asking the Malaysian authorities to give an exception to the rule. Otherwise, we have to send the children in Nunukan to their respective provinces.' Including women and children, the number in Nunukan stands at 21,700, he said.
Malaysia gave illegal immigrants, the majority of them Indonesians, until the start of August to leave or face penalties of six months' jail and up to six strokes of the cane. The bar on workers bringing their dependants means around 10,000 children born of Indonesians in Sabah cannot return.



Posted in General @ 10 September 2002 00:03 CET by Jeroen · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink






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