A surprise raid on May 11th started after 6 am with immigration department officers and personnel surrounding Malaysia’s largest wholesale wet market ended up nabbing hundreds of immigrants workers.
The area has been under total lock down. This is as fears raised by locals increase with foreign migrant workers being accused of spreading the corona virus as they live in cramped, rented housing and also their poor regard for personal hygiene.
Malaysia has over 2.2 million registered foreign workers and many more working without permit. The raid rounded up nationals from Bangladesh, India, Myanmar and Nepal.
This is the second raid by Malaysian authorities in the month with the first coming earlier in Jalan Masjid India earlier in the month. The raid on the wet market was supported by a helicopter which was hovering over the market during the raid.
The area surrounding the marketplace is also under ‘enhanced MCO’ or total lockdown with barbed wires and armed soldiers placed around the vicinity to guard entry and re-entry due to the high infection rates coming out of the location. Another area in total lockdown is Jalan Othman Market located at Old town Petaling Jaya with the area barbed wired and cordoned off by police.
“The raid was conducted by the immigration department with the police and a number of other agencies providing support assistance”, according to Kuala Lumpur Chief of Police Mazlan Lazim.
The Star reported that those members who were held up on Monday are believed to have been working in the surrounding shops at and around the market. At 10:30 am a police escort with a minimum of three trucks left the area.
The senior minister overseeing the MCO, Defence minister Ismail Sabri defended the raids over foreign-worker enclaves, and he further said that the foreign migrant workers would be placed at immigration depots.