Kota Kinabalu August 12, 2011: The Sabah Immigration Department recorded a total of 161,500 illegal immigrants from July 18 to Aug 10.
Its Director, Mohammad Mentek, said the figure comprised 115,136 Indonesians, 45,984 Filipinos, 113 Indians, 296 Pakistanis, six Chinese nationals and 15 others including Vietnamese.
"The registration exercise under the 5P Programme in the nine centres and Outreach Programme was implemented smoothly without any untoward incident over the 24 days.
"Of the 161,500, a total of 149,944 had no documents while the remaining 11,606 illegals had documents which were no longer valid.
Employed illegals accounted for 116,469, while 45,081 are not working," he said, Thursday.
Mohammad said the plantation sector recorded the highest number of illegal workers accounting for 91,497, followed by agriculture (16,376), manufacturing (7,922), construction (9,103) and services (2,125).
During the two-day extension (Aug 9 and 10), he said the department registered 3,583 illegals, a high number of whom came to register on the second day.
He said most of them waited for the last minute to register during the exercise.
"On Aug 9, all four districts - Kota Kinabalu, Sandakan, Tawau and Lahad Datu - recorded low numbers of illegals and the number rose steeply on the second day (Aug 10).
"For instance, among the four centres, the highest number was recorded in Sandakan from 107 (Aug 9) to 1,098 (Aug 10), followed by Tawau from 107 (Aug 9) to 868 (Aug 10), Kota Kinabalu from 210 to 515 and Lahad Datu from 96 to 427," Mohammad said.
He said most of them were Indonesians working in plantations in the State's East Coast.
Among others, he said, the illegals simply waited for the last minute to register while some waited for their employers to return from abroad or outstation.
Mohammad said the department is quite pleased with the total figure of illegal foreigners registered under the 5P Programme.
This is because, he said, the total figure of 161,550 is similar to that registered in 2009, where 161,747 were recorded during the regularisation exercise.
In 2008, he said the department recorded 312,000 illegals in the same exercise.