2 Filipino Babies Will Be Deported From Malaysia Today

They had been in detention for the past 20 days.

Cover image via Free Malaysia Today

Two undocumented Filipino babies, who are both under the age of two, will be deported from Malaysia today, 3 July

Datuk Khairul Dzaimee

Image via Malaysiakini

Malay Mail reported Immigration Department Director-General Datuk Khairul Dzaimee as saying yesterday, 2 July, that the babies will be released from the Bukit Jalil Immigration Detention Centre today. 

They had been in detention for 20 days. 

The babies were first arrested by immigration officers in Kajang on 14 June

According to Malaysiakini, the babies were detained during an immigration raid at Plaza Indah Apartment in Kajang. 

Their mothers, who hold valid Malaysian visas, were not home at the time of the raid. 

The Immigration Department had reportedly said that the babies would be released and deported along with their mothers once travel documents are provided by the Philippines embassy. 

However, the embassy claimed that they never received deportation orders from the Immigration Department to issue the travel documents. 

The babies had remained in detention throughout the lack of communication between the parties, reported Malaysiakini. 

Local NGO Tenaganita also revealed in a statement yesterday that the babies' mothers had not been allowed to see them for 20 days

Tenaganita executive director Glorene Das

Image via Malay Mail

In a Facebook statement, Tenaganita executive director Glorene Das said that the children were deprived of their mother's care for the period of their detention. 

"No babies and toddlers should be in any detention or holding centres," Glorene stressed.

She also claimed that the condition of detention centres in Malaysia are "intolerable and inhumane"

"In fact, immigration detention officers have acknowledged that they are not equipped to handle children," Glorene said. 

Nonetheless, the Immigration Department argued that basic facilities were provided for the babies

Bukit Jalil immigration detention centre

Image via Reuters

Free Malaysia Today reported Khairul as saying that pregnant mothers and children are placed in different rooms from regular detainees. 

"Access to a children's playground and other needs are also provided to make sure they are comfortable while waiting to be sent back," he added, according to Free Malaysia Today. 

Khairul also revealed that the babies' mothers and a representative from the Philippine embassy will be present at the centre for their release today. 

You can read Tenaganita's statement about the babies' detention here:

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