Malaysia — There have been 151 deaths in Malaysian immigration detention centres since 2016. The latest figure dates from Sept 23 this year, according to a written reply to an MP’s question from the Home Ministry in Parliament today.
The reply to Petaling Jaya MP Maria Chin Abdullah said: “The causes of death identified by the hospital include lung infection, heart complication, diabetes, shortness of breath, organ failure and others.”
The ministry did not give any further details on what caused the high number of deaths among those who were detained.
Parliament also learned that 1,763 children under 18 were detained at the centres last year. The number detained from January to Nov 25 this year was 1,947.
Malaysia sees a regular influx of foreign workers, many of whom enter the country illegally through its porous borders.
In September, a report revealed that the number of deaths among Bangladeshi workers in the country had doubled in the past six years. By 2018, says the report published by Malaysiakini, an average of two Bangladeshi workers died every day.
According to the Bangladeshi government’s Expatriate Welfare Desk in Kuala Lumpur, 393 Bangladeshi workers died in Malaysia from January to June this year. Most were aged 18 to 32. The chief causes of death given in the death certificates were stroke and heart attack.
Another major discovery shocked the country in 2015.
In May that year, Malaysian police said they had uncovered 28 suspected human trafficking camps about 500 metres from the country’s northern border with Thailand.
The discovery came after reports of multiple mass graves and suspected human trafficking camps along the border.
“We discovered 139 of what we believe are graves,” the then national police chief, Mr Khalid Abu Bakar, told reporters.