LARUT: A total of 243,297 illegal immigrants have been repatriated under the recalibration programme which has been extended until the end of this month, said Home Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin.
He said that as of Thursday, 282,561 illegal immigrants had registered for the programme, which allows them to be sent home voluntarily.
"The process will end at the end of this month and as usual, we will take firm action against anyone (undocumented migrants) who refused to take up this offer.
"These migrants comprise those staying here without documents, without valid documents or verification made by the immigration.
"Employers who hire them will also be taken to court," he told reporters when met at a gathering in Kampung Anak Kurau here today.
Hamzah, who is MP for Larut, said undocumented migrants could register to be sent home under the programme or apply to work legally in the country through the Manpower Recalibration Programme.
"Initially, we expected only about 200,000 people but now the number of immigrants who want to go back and those wishing to work again has reached 400,000," he said.
He said the government had received almost RM1 billion in levies, including from this programme, so far this year.
Among the conditions for joining the recalibration programme for going home are that the applicants must have valid travel documents approved by their own embassies and possess flight or ferry tickets to return to their home countries.
Meanwhile, Hamzah said controls at the Malaysian-Thai border would be tightened following Thailand's move to legalise medical cannabis, which would make the substance more easily available in that country.
"Our recent visit to Turkiye shows that certain aspects of its border controls can be adopted for our country to tighten security," he added. -- BERNAMA