JAKARTA, Sept 6 (Bernama) -- The deportation of 24,000 Acehnese tsunami refugees in Malaysia to Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam (NAD) province will be conducted in stages, Indonesian news agency, ANTARA, quoted the Indonesian foreign ministry spokesman as saying."The Indonesian government hope their deportation could be carried out in stages until the end of this year," Teuku Faizasyah, the spokesman said here on Friday.
Previously the number of Tsunami victim card holders reached 30,000, and some of them had already gone home, he said, adding that there are still 24,000 of them in Malaysia.Earlier, NAD Governor Irwandi Yusuf had asked the Malaysian authorities at a meeting to extend the staying permits until 2010.The Aceh provincial administration is not ready to receive and accommodate all them in a too-short period, he said.
The Aceh provincial administration would continue contacting the relevant Malaysian authorities to explain that Aceh's economy had not yet fully recovered from the impact of the 2004 tsunami and that the refugees would therefore be facing hardships if they come home too soon, The Aceh deputy governor was quoted as saying.He said that the Indonesian embassy in Kuala Lumpur had prepared the passports for those going home.
In addition, job providing firms in Malaysia could also make a recommendation to the Malaysian government to provide the Acehnese refugees a staying permit in Malaysia.Thousands of people perished and went missing in the devastating tsunami which hit most of the western Indonesian province on December 26