ANL 28.85 Increased By ▲ 0.50 (1.76%)
ASC 15.15 Increased By ▲ 0.01 (0.07%)
ASL 24.15 Increased By ▲ 0.50 (2.11%)
AVN 97.95 Increased By ▲ 2.35 (2.46%)
BOP 9.30 Increased By ▲ 0.10 (1.09%)
BYCO 10.35 Increased By ▲ 0.28 (2.78%)
DGKC 135.50 Increased By ▲ 3.00 (2.26%)
EPCL 49.98 Increased By ▲ 1.28 (2.63%)
FCCL 25.16 Increased By ▲ 0.61 (2.48%)
FFBL 25.22 Decreased By ▼ -0.41 (-1.6%)
FFL 16.04 Increased By ▲ 0.04 (0.25%)
HASCOL 11.07 Increased By ▲ 0.01 (0.09%)
HUBC 85.00 Increased By ▲ 0.80 (0.95%)
HUMNL 7.70 Increased By ▲ 0.43 (5.91%)
JSCL 25.75 Increased By ▲ 1.10 (4.46%)
KAPCO 37.45 Increased By ▲ 1.35 (3.74%)
KEL 4.17 Increased By ▲ 0.12 (2.96%)
LOTCHEM 15.13 Increased By ▲ 0.37 (2.51%)
MLCF 47.18 Increased By ▲ 1.18 (2.57%)
PAEL 39.40 Increased By ▲ 0.65 (1.68%)
PIBTL 12.04 Decreased By ▼ -0.01 (-0.08%)
POWER 10.65 Increased By ▲ 0.05 (0.47%)
PPL 91.00 Increased By ▲ 0.40 (0.44%)
PRL 26.69 Increased By ▲ 0.39 (1.48%)
PTC 9.05 Decreased By ▼ -0.09 (-0.98%)
SILK 1.45 Increased By ▲ 0.05 (3.57%)
SNGP 38.75 Decreased By ▼ -0.25 (-0.64%)
TRG 145.70 Increased By ▲ 6.95 (5.01%)
UNITY 32.90 Increased By ▲ 0.75 (2.33%)
WTL 1.61 Increased By ▲ 0.05 (3.21%)
BR100 4,959 Increased By ▲ 85.49 (1.75%)
BR30 25,734 Increased By ▲ 497.97 (1.97%)
KSE100 45,966 Increased By ▲ 603.04 (1.33%)
KSE30 19,199 Increased By ▲ 314.87 (1.67%)
World

Malaysian deports over 1,000 Myanmar nationals despite court order

  • Hours before the deportation, a Kuala Lumpur court ordered it should be temporarily halted to allow activists to present a legal challenge.
23 Feb 2021

LUMUT: Malaysia on Tuesday deported over 1,000 Myanmar detainees back to their homeland just weeks after a coup, despite a court order halting the repatriation and a storm of criticism from rights groups.

The migrants were ferried on buses and trucks to a military base on Malaysia's west coast where three Myanmar navy ships had docked.

The United States and the United Nations had criticised the plan, while rights groups said there were asylum seekers among the group.

Hours before the deportation, a Kuala Lumpur court ordered it should be temporarily halted to allow activists to present a legal challenge.

They argued it should not go ahead as Malaysia would breach its international duties if it deported vulnerable people, and that the Myanmar military's seizure of power meant they were at even greater risk.

But the vessels later set sail carrying 1,086 of the detainees, with authorities offering no explanation as to why the court order had been ignored.

Malaysian immigration chief Khairul Dzaimee Daud offered assurances no members of the persecuted Rohingya minority -- not recognised as citizens in Myanmar -- or asylum seekers had been deported.

"All of those who have been deported agreed to return of their own free will, without being forced," he said.

Those deported had been held in immigration detention centres since 2020, he said.

Authorities earlier said 1,200 detainees were to be deported, and it was not clear why the final number was lower.

Officials insist those sent back had committed offences such as overstaying their visas, and the deportation was part of their regular programme of repatriating migrants from poorer parts of Asia.

About 37,000 foreigners were repatriated last year. Malaysia is home to millions of migrants who work in low-paying jobs like construction.

It is rare for rights groups to launch legal challenges against deportations, but they were prompted to do so by concerns the migrants faced greater risks since the Myanmar military seized power and that some were asylum seekers.

Activists have been growing increasingly alarmed since authorities blocked the UN refugee agency from accessing immigration detention centres in Malaysia in 2019.

This means the UN cannot assess whether foreigners are economic migrants looking for work or asylum seekers fleeing persecution and conflict, who would usually be granted refugee status and the right to remain in Malaysia.

In the latest case, the detainees were believed to include members of the Christian Chin minority and people from conflict-riven Kachin and Shan states, according to Lilianne Fan, international director of the Geutanyoe Foundation, which works with refugees.

Since seizing power at the start of February, authorities in mostly Buddhist Myanmar have gradually ratcheted up their use of force, with three anti-coup protesters killed in demonstrations so far.

Malaysia initially expressed "serious concern" at the coup, but just days later news emerged it had accepted an offer from the Myanmar junta to send warships to repatriate the detainees.