Govt to repatriate Nepali migrants from Malaysia jails

- POST REPORT, RAMCHANDRA GIRI, KUALA LUMPUR (MALAYSIA)

May 23, 2014-

Preparations are under way to repatriate Nepali migrant workers who, despite having completed their jail terms, are languishing in prisons and detention centres due to their inability to afford traveling costs to Nepal, the Nepali embassy in Malaysia said.

An official at the embassy said the government decided to release around Rs 2 million to purchase air tickets for the migrant workers to return to Nepal. They will be repatriated in coordination with concerned Malaysian officials.

The government’s move follows consultations of Lokman Singh Karki, chief of the Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority, with concerned government authorities regarding the rescue of Nepali migrant workers right after he returned from a Malaysia visit some days ago. He had inquired about Nepali migrants during the visit.

Nepali ambassador to Malaysia Niranjanman Singh Basnyat said they will initiate the repatriation process as soon as the government releases the required amount.

Basnyat said that ailing, poor or women workers will be prioritised in the repatriation process. He said such migrant workers need travel permits to return to Nepal, which the embassy provides for free. According to the embassy, 646 migrant workers, including 11 women, are languishing in nine different detention centers in Malaysia.

Embassy officials who visited the a detention centre in Linging recently said most of the total 137 Nepali migrant workers languishing there have already completed their jail terms and are awaiting repatriation.

The officials, however, said only around 150 such migrant workers can be repatriated with the budget to be released by the government.

Meanwhile, concerned stakeholders said that it is difficult to rescue such migrant workers due to the problem in their identification. “It

will be easier if the embassy makes public details of such workers from time to time,” said a member of Non-Resident Nepali Association in Malaysia.

Published: 24-05-2014 09:13

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