Ahmad Zahid said the operation will kick off a day after the special programme on the management of illegal immigrants ends on January 20, a news agency reported. He said that the cost of sending back the illegal immigrants to their countries would be borne by the immigrants themselves, their employers or the missions of their countries.

Moreover, the illegal immigrants' biometric fingerprint will be registered before their deportation, in a bid to prevent them from getting back to the country, under a different name, the home minister added.

The illegal immigrants in Malaysia are believed to have reduced the country's employment opportunities and strained public services, such as security, health and education.

As of August 2012, there were 1.3 million illegal immigrants in Malaysia, while another 1.5 million have the temporary working visiting pass, according to the immigration department.


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