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Home Ministry says seeking to reduce cost as RM85m spent on immigration detainees' food, drinks last year

Publish date: Mon, 27 Mar 2023, 07:49 PM

KUALA LUMPUR, March 27 — Putrajaya said today it is aiming to reduce the operational cost for immigration detention centres nationwide as it cost RM84.8 million last year for detainees’ daily meals and drinks.

Deputy Home Minister Datuk Seri Shamsul Anuar Nasarah said there are currently 13,440 detainees at 21 immigration depots nationwide.

“The cost of food and drink per prisoner is RM13.50 per day. The annual cost of managing the immigration depot is about RM84.8 million. This is the cost of food and beverage operations, maintenance for the year 2022.

“And the ministry through the Immigration Department is detailing proposals to improve depot management to reduce government spending. We are aware that the expenses are quite high and we are studying and refining this matter,” he said in Parliament during the ministry’s winding-up speech for Budget 2023 at the committee level.

He was responding to Perikatan Nasional (PN) Sik MP Ahmad Tarmizi Sulaiman who asked about the recent statistics of the Immigration Department’s detention centres.

The ministry said it will shift the children detained at the Immigration depots and place them under the care of non-governmental organisations (NGO) that specifically specialise in the welfare of children.

Home Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail said he has already identified the profile of the children, their numbers and where they were detained.

The government however did not disclose whether it would relax its immigration policies, following intensified crackdown by the Immigration Department under former home minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainuddin.

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