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Embassy works to bring home over 2,000 migrant workers detained in Malaysia

Myitmakha News Agency

Yangon, August 12 – inspections are currently being made on a total of 2,294 migrant workers in 11 detention centers across Malaysia to allow the workers to be repatriated to Myanmar, the Ministry of Immigration and Population has announced.

The workers are being checked as they have outstayed their time at the detention centers, with a second batch of 138 workers reportedly repatriated on August 12.

“The Myanmar Embassy [in Malaysia] is checking whether the detained migrant workers are in fact genuine Myanmar citizens, or not. Whether all of them can be repatriated during August depends on the pace of the embassy’s verification process,” said U Thein Win, director of the Department of Migrant Worker Affairs.

The Malaysian government reportedly sent a compiled list of the aforementioned migrant workers to the Myanmar embassy at the start of August, U Nyunt Win, an official from the Ministry of Immigration, told Myitmakha News Agency.

The migrant workers currently detained were reportedly arrested for a number of reasons such as engaging in other employment to that they were officially contracted for; having lost their passport; and for coming to work in Malaysia on a tourist visa.

“It’s difficult to ascertain if some of them are actually Myanmar citizens or not, as they can’t show any documental proof. The embassy is of course inquiring into such cases. An ethnic citizen [of Myanmar] can obviously speak the language well, and they must be able to at least provide the name of the township from where they’re from. We have to check their background to the point whereby we can trust [they are telling the truth]. Only then will they be allowed home,” said U Nyunt Win.

The Ministry of Immigration reportedly already repatriated a first batch of 138 migrant workers from the Malaysian detention centers on August 8.

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