Foreign Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said the expulsion claim was untrue. He said all Indonesians who had just returned to his country did so for other reasons, and that was confirmed by several officials in the Republic of Indonesia.
"Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said earlier that there would be a group of Indonesians returning, but he never said it was an eviction," Hishammuddin said.
"Indonesian Foreign Ministry spokesman Teuku Faizasyah previously stressed that all Indonesians who arrived in the country were not expelled, but were sent home because they entered Malaysia without permission before the COVID-19 crisis (emerged)," continued the top Malaysian diplomat, as quoted. New Straits Times, Wednesday (1/4/2020).
"Consul Anang Fauzi Firdaus from the Indonesian Embassy in Johor Baru also acknowledged that Indonesians returned (either because) their permission to stay had expired or they could not find work during the MCO in Malaysia," he said in a statement today, "he explained.
MCO is a Movement Control Order, a policy of limiting the movement of people in Malaysia as a step to prevent the spread of COVID-19
Hishammuddin responded to a statement by an Indonesian non-governmental organization, Migrant Care, which claimed that the Malaysian government had recently expelled Indonesian citizens on a large scale.
"I would like to suggest that they are out there doing the necessary checks before issuing a statement," he said.
"Don't just make irresponsible accusations that can damage good relations between Malaysia and Indonesia," added Hishammuddin.
Previously, Migrant Care's executive director, Wahyu Susilo, urged the Indonesian government to protest the actions of Malaysia suspected of deporting Indonesian citizens.
Wahyu said the deportation caused several Indonesian migrant workers to be affected by COVID-19, because they had to travel in large numbers and found it difficult to practice social distancing.