A 20-year-old woman's insistence that she is a Malaysian was put to the test yesterday during an Immigration Department raid in Kuala Lumpur to flush out illegal immigrants. When officers asked her to sing the national anthem 'Negaraku' to prove that she was indeed Malaysian, she could not, which led to her arrest. Pix by Osman Adnan

KUALA LUMPUR: A woman's insistence that she is a Malaysian was put to the test yesterday during an Immigration Department raid to flush out illegal immigrants.

An Immigration team had raided a block of flats in Pudu last night. The 20-year-old woman, in her bid to evade arrest, created a scene when she sat at the flat's doorstep and refused to budge.

The woman offered a litany of excuses, including claiming that she was pregnant and needed to be sent to the hospital immediately.

She also insisted that she was Malaysian, despite not having any documents to back up her claim.

However, when officers asked her to sing the national anthem 'Negaraku' to prove that she was indeed Malaysian, she could not, which led to her arrest.

She was among 189 people checked at the flats, and among the 45 illegal immigrants arrested by the department in two separate raids in the city last night.

The raids were conducted simultaneously at a block of flats in Pudu and an entertainment outlet in Jalan Kia Peng from 10pm to 3am.

A total of 21 people were held at the flats while the rest were arrested at the entertainment outlet. None had any valid permits.

Immigration Department director-general Datuk Seri Mustafar Ali said officers checked 189 people at the flats in the first raid, codenamed Ops Mega.

“Apart from the 21 arrested, the rest are the UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) card holders. Of the total, we arrested 18 Myanmar nationals, one Indian, one Indonesian and one Pakistani.

“Most of them rented rooms at the flats. Some units had added illegal partitions, which is an offence under Kuala Lumpur City Council (DBKL) rules,” he told reporters after the operation, adding that DBKL would take action against the unit owners.

Mustafar said meanwhile, Ops Gegar was carried out at the entertainment outlet acting on information that there were immoral activities taking place at the premises.

“The team examined 40 people at the outlet and 25 were arrested. They were 20 Thai women, two Uzbekistan women and two Bangladeshi men,” he told reporters after the operation.

Mustafar said his department would discuss with UNHCR on the issuance of the cards to the “refugees”.

“We need to investigate the background of the refugees before they are eligible to become card holders. We need to ascertain they are real refugees, and not just job-seekers.

Meanwhile, Mustafar said his department would also share the outcome of their investigations with other agencies and departments to sever ties between illegal immigrants and vice activities.

“We want to nip the problem in the bud. Sharing the information will ensure the relevant authorities can take the necessary action to prevent the premises from re-opening.

“We will also relay the information to assemblymen, members of parliament, menteri besar and the chief minister,” he said.

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