KUANTAN (BERNAMA) - Malaysia's Immigration Department has pledged to rid the country of illegal immigrants.
Its director-general Mustafar Ali said on Friday (July 20) the department will further intensify the operation to detain illegal immigrants from Aug 31.
He said employers who hire and harbour illegal foreign workers will also be detained.
"We have started the voluntary surrender programme or better known as 3+1 which enable all illegal immigrants in the country to return to their countries of origin voluntarily.
"So, they still have the chance to surrender until Aug 30 before we take a more firm approach," he told reporters.
More than 3,000 illegal immigrants have been arrested nationwide for various offences under an operation launched on July 1, he added.
Malaysia periodically conducts mass deportation of illegal migrants, the last one being around July last year.
At that time, officials said there were 600,000 foreign nationals working illegally in Malaysia.
There were some two million registered foreign workers who work in blue collar jobs including in palm oil plantations, construction, restaurants and cleaners in office buildings and malls.
Previous reports have said that most of these foreign nationals were from Indonesia, Bangladesh and Myanmar including ethnic Rohingya.