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US decision blacklisting M’sia “unfair”

KUALA LUMPUR, 17 June 2009: The US’s decision to place Malaysia in the blacklist of countries trafficking in people is unfair, Deputy Home Minister Datuk Abu Seman Yusop said today.

“I think it is not justifiable to put us on the blacklist,” he told the press in Parliament today.

“This is as though we are involved in the trafficking of people,” Abu Seman added.

Abu Seman said that Malaysia should be taken off the list, and that he would discuss how this would be done with Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein.

The deputy minister was responding the US State Department’s annual Trafficking in Persons Report 2009, which was released yesterday. The report blacklisted 17 countries, including Malaysia.

“Malaysia is a destination and … a source and transit country for women and children trafficked for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation, and for men, women, and children trafficked for the purpose of forced labour,” said the report.

Abu Seman explained that Malaysia had enacted the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act 2007.

“Under this Act, we have a lot of power. We have already set up a committee (to deal) with this problem,” he added. “We have arrested a number of illegal entrants in our waters recently.”

Abu Seman also revealed that Malaysia was working closely with its neighbours to combat the issue. However, he failed to reveal any concrete strategies to specifically address human trafficking.

In a written answer to a question posed by Tian Chua (Batu-PKR) on 15 June, the Home Ministry said that there was no evidence that indicated government officials were involved in human trafficking.

“The government will not hesitate to take legal action against any public servants if there is truth and strong evidence in the allegations,” the statement said.

Serious action needed

However, Chua revealed that there were clear indications that the Malaysian authorities are involved in facilitating human trafficking.

In a press conference in Parliament today, Chua said that it was not enough for the government to merely deny the problem.

“I call upon the government to take serious action,” Chua said. “This is not something beyond our control, as it involves government officials. The government can act upon the matter.”

Chua revealed that he would be moving an emergency motion on 22 June to debate the issue.

“We need a consensus that this cannot go on,” Chua said.

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2 Responses to “US decision blacklisting M’sia “unfair””

  1. vp says:

    Over the past few years, the Malaysian government always disagrees with any bad international ranking. But when Malaysia’s ranking is good, then some minister or government department will “congratulate” [the nation].

    Why does the BN government refuse to admit their failure or mismanagment? Or is the analysis done purposely to make Malaysia look bad? But the funny idea is when the analysis shows Malaysia is good, then the government will agree. What double standards.

    Looks like the BN government’s management is always [based on] double standards. Whatever is good to BN/Umno, it’s legal and acceptable. But when the thing turn bad for BN/Umno, then it becomes illegal and not acceptable. In the history of any empire of the world, this situation will occur when the empire’s doom is near. BN, be end…..soon.

  2. Gopal Raj Kumar says:

    The government of Malaysia is missing the point here either out of convenience or simple ignorance or a combination of both. This is the equivalent of a strict liability offence. It matters not what Malaysia’s government believes it is doing enough to discourage or to prevent the trafficking of human beings for the purposes it is alleged. It is sufficient that it (human trafficking) is being carried out on its shores in one form or the other. Much like the way in which someone in possession of drugs in Malaysia is treated.

    Regardless of what and how the accused claims it came to be in their possession there is no excuse nor does that provide a defense that’s acceptable.

    The lifestyles of most Malaysians encourage and compel the ill treatment of humans which is why they are trafficked from poorer countries. This occurs whether it is by the police in arbitrarily extinguishing a human life in their custody without lawful authority, the ill treatment of maids who are by most middle class Malaysian’s standards disposable commodities, and so on.

    Malaysia cannot play dumb or innocent bystander in this horror of horrors pantomime of a human tragedy. It is at the core of it either by its inaction, slow action (giving the offenders the time to legitimise their action or to take that next step forward in completing the commission of their offense).

    Remember this: Those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it or suffer its consequences in the future.

    Malaysia is willingly at the core of human trafficking. Malaysian men in particular have a lot to answer for in their patronage of prostitution, the ultimate form of slavery and degradation of another human being. The fact remains that silence is consent.

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