JAKARTA: The Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs is seeking clarification from the Sabah State Immigration Department following a report issued by the Sovereign Migrant Workers Coalition (KBMB) on the treatment of its citizens at detention depots in Malaysia.

The report claimed that there were deaths and inhumane treatment of Indonesian detainees at the Immigration Detention Depot in Tawau, Sabah. However, on Tuesday the report was refuted by Malaysian Immigration Department director-general Datuk Seri Khairul Dzaimee Daud (pix) who said it was a baseless allegation.

The director for the protection of Indonesian citizens, at the ministry, Judha Nugraha said in a statement that the Consulate General of the Republic of Indonesia in Kota Kinabalu and the Consulate of the Republic of Indonesia in Tawau were scheduled to meet the Director of the Sabah State Immigration Department yesterday (Tuesday).

The meeting was to request information and clarity on KBMB’s findings, as an effort by the Indonesian government to protect Indonesian citizens and workers in Sabah.

His side will follow up bilaterally with the Malaysian authorities if the information in the report is confirmed, he said.

Last Friday, KBMB members held a demonstration in front of the Malaysian Embassy in Kuningan regarding the allegations.

Meanwhile in Kuala Lumpur, Khairul Dzaimee said the treatment given to all detainees at the Malaysian immigration depot, including Indonesian nationals, was good and in accordance with the ‘Mandela Rules’ standard.

Early medical treatment was also provided by Malaysian Health Ministry staff stationed as cadres at all immigration depots, while serious health cases were taken to hospitals.

Khairul Dzaimee, in a statement on Tuesday, said that 18 Indonesian detainees died in Sabah in 2021 and six in 2022 while being treated in hospitals.

They died while undergoing treatment for various diseases such as heart ailments, kidney problems, Covid-19, and pneumonia,” he said.

Meanwhile, Antara news agency reported that the Head of the Indonesian Migrant Workers Protection Agency (BP2MI) Benny Rhamdani will be in Malaysia in the near future to visit the depots detaining Indonesian workers. — Bernama