Numbers of Pinoys nabbed in Malaysia still unofficial

Posted at 01/24/14 3:37 PM

MANILA – The Philippine Embassy in Malaysia said there are unofficial reports of Filipinos arrested in the ongoing crackdown against undocumented foreign workers in the country.

Consul Johann Andal declined to say how many were arrested as the embassy has yet to get confirmation from Malaysian authorities.

"There are unofficial numbers, but before we say anything we would like to confirm them," said Andal. "We're actively checking and coordinating with our immigration authorities. But as of the moment, we're still validating the numbers. We haven't gotten the usual formal notice from the immigration".

The embassy estimates around 300,000 to 400,000 undocumented Filipinos in Malaysia.

"As of January 2014, we have facilitated the visas of around 1900 exit passes. Last year, we gave 10,000 passports in Sabah," Andal said adding that the embassy is doing everything it can to assist Filipinos.

However, only a few have actually visited the embassy to ask for assistance in their repatriation or legalizing their work status in Malaysia.

"I think most of them are quite scared to go out. That's what we've noticed since the crackdown began. Not many people are going to the embassy maybe they're scared of being caught by immigration authorities," she added.