KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia -- Malaysian authorities have stepped up border surveillance as more and more potential immigrants and refugees flee war-torn Central Asia and the Middle East, arriving here in search of passage onward to third countries like Australia.
Afghans, Pakistanis, Iraqis, Tamils from Sri Lanka, Bangladeshis and even some Africans are finding Malaysia an attractive destination. On arrival, most are automatically granted a three-month tourist visa.
The influx puts Malaysian authorities in a difficult spot. According to Malaysian law, an Afghan arriving by airplane has committed no offense. But when a cluster of Afghans touch down at KL International, suspicions are automatically raised.