Call for three-month amnesty for Indian-origin "missing persons" in Malaysia

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Petaling Jaya, Jan. 14 (ANI): The Malaysian Indian Restaurant Owners Association has urged the Malaysian Government to provide a three-month amnesty period to illegal migrants of Indian origin before going ahead with a planned crackdown on them.

"Give them amnesty to go back. Do not legalise them, otherwise the problem will become worse," the Star Online quoted association's president R. Ramalingam Pillai, as saying.

Earlier, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak had said that there were about 39,000 Indian nationals who were "missing" after their tourist visas expired.

Meanwhile, Malaysian Home Minister Hishammuddin Tun Hussein has said that people whose permits have expired can participate in the voluntary repatriation programme.

"Those whose permits have expired can participate in the voluntary repatriation programme, where they only need to pay a minimal compound to return home at their own expense," he said.

Hishammuddin said the committee monitoring and managing foreigners is looking into ways to curb the abuse of visas by Indian nationals.

"We view the abuse seriously. We realise the need to strengthen enforcement and have new approaches in dealing with the mobility of foreigners and illegal immigrants. Monitoring will also include the movement of foreigners after their visa, pass or permit has expired," he said.

A spokesman from the Indian High Commission in Malaysia said the mission was in regular contact with the Malaysian Government, in particular the Immigration Department, over the issue of overstaying.

"Whenever a case involving an Indian national comes to our attention, we work closely with the Malaysian authorities to secure their early return to India," he said. (ANI)

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