BAGAN DATOH (Jan 26): The adequacy of detention centres should not be questioned as existing centres can accomodate 50,000 people, says Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
"We have held discussions with embassies and companies on sending the illegal immigrants home.
"The maximum stay at detention centres is only seven days. As such, the question of inadequate places gazetted as detention centres does not arise," he told reporters after opening National Printing Malaysia Berhad's (PNMB) corporate social responsibility resource centre project here yesterday.
Zahid said Ops 6P under the Illegal Immigrants Management Special Programme (PKPP) must be continued even during the festive season.
He said employers who hired illegal immigrants could submit all documents to release the foreign workers because during operations, they (foreign workers) claimed the documents were kept by employers.
"Employed illegal immigrants and employers who were cheated by foreign workers' agencies can submit proof that payments had been made through the agencies.
"Appeals can be made at the foreign worker division of the Home Ministry to enable us to furnish the documents concerned.
"If the foreign workers did not have employers and the relevant documents, they would be deported without involving the people and government's money," he said.
On the call by MCA president Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai for the ministry to be more transparent in detaining illegal immigrants, Zahid clarified that the ministry had a complete standard operating procedure.
"What is being done is that the foreign workers are gathered at one place. Those with documents will be placed in a row for inspection first. The inspection does not take more than an hour in total.
"Those without documents are separated, but we will contact the employers of those who claim their employers are keeping their documents," he explained.