Malaysia defends plan to deport Myanmar nationals

16 February, 2021 12:00 AM printer

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia on Monday defended a plan to deport 1,200 Myanmar nationals on navy ships sent from their homeland just weeks after a coup, following criticism from the United Nations, reports AFP.

News emerged last week the migrants would be sent home, after the Myanmar military seized power and detained civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi at the start of February.

Malaysian immigration chief Khairul Dzaimee Daud said the detainees, who will be deported on February 23, are accused of offences including not having valid travel documents and overstaying their visas.

“It is part of our usual programme to deport illegal immigrants held at detention centres,” he said in a statement, adding Malaysia sent home over 37,000 foreigners last year.