TIME TO DEPORT ILLEGALS IN MALAYSIA SAYS MALAYSIA ASEAN APEC LEAD CONSUMERIST PROF DR JACOB GEORGE
For far too long we have ignored that elephant in the room.
For far too long we have allowed politicians, brokers, even the VVIPs and their runners, which includes a singer to play a pivoted part in the foreign workers recruitment protocols end to end.
We have even allowed industry captains to lobby the issues.
Many of them are alleged to have received huge blanket approvals.
It was once joked that even a certain high powered badminton star, a then speaker and another VVIP was running around with a few thousand approvals.
And no matter what one says the truth is as far as the issue of foreign workers applications, recruitment and others go – it is crystal clear that it is one of the most abused sectors to date.
Everybody had a finger in it.
From the onset I had repeatedly addressed the issues and fallout from the 80s, with the late then deputy home minister Megat Junid.
During our tea sessions and satays, he agreed with my observations but felt it was losing battle and difficult to address or manage the greed and political pressures from many strange quarters end to end.
It was at that time we even had that ‘six million ringgit man’ story and the Bangladesh cartels working hand in hand.
Or that story of the one’s super powerful multi-millionaire civil servant whose wife wore two watches in a golf visit to Nepal – one with Malaysian time and another Nepal!
It was hilarious how she became the brunt of many jokes there and within the diplomatic community.
Back to the issue – Industry players and captains wanted super cheap labor to maximize profits, their human resource team had their fingers in the plum as they developed symbiotic relationships with the agents and runners, those expected to be the gatekeepers were no better!
Everyone enjoyed the ride and anyone who poses a threat to them are threatened, defamed, even dragged through controversies planned and planted.
But my conversations continued with successive home ministers, head of states of foreign workers sending countries and their diplomats, who all agreed that we needed an air-tight public policy which identifies real needs from the false, and isolates political and state actor shenanigans who act as conduits in the multi billion ringgit racket.
One’s I was part of the entourage of both the then internal security ministry and then the human resources select committee who visited Nepal to address issues from ground zero with the stakeholders!
My then conversations with the head of state in Bangladesh were also very positive but political ground tremors were very strong as well.
It was always disheartening that the victims were the workers eager to seek employment though they had not the skills, nor the education and many resorting to falsifying their qualification as ex-service men or with paper qualifications and paying the conduits to secure employment by selling what little they had.
The truth is the conduits in the transaction end to end all knew the weaknesses but the financial kickbacks allocated to them helped compromise their positions.
It was after all a numbers game.
When I took on the cartels here which made headlines I received death threats as well.
There were advisories given me by powerful then state actors as well for my safety.
Fast forward 2020 – the issue of foreign workers both legal and illegal has not be resolved but gone from bad to wicked!
However, the Covid 19 pandemic has now come in as a savior and those who in the past insulated and tolerated these huge numbers estimated to be more than 6 million are feeling the heat!
There are still boats arriving from the Western Coastline carrying with them illegals.
The number of foreigners on our streets and community is still growing and does not make sense.
Our borders are compromised and the hard work of our security apparatus being hampered.
Locals must become the eyes and ears of the security apparatus that our borders are protected.
Go to any housing estate today and you will see foreigners gathering without following safe distancing, wearing the masks or abiding with the protocols.
There are many cases of infections where they are concerned and my fear is it is only a matter of time before the local population may turn against them, for not abiding to the Covid 19 protocols.
If this happens it will become a homeland security issue.
The Top Glove fiasco is just the tip of the iceberg.
It is my appeal that it is timely to set up a high powered task force with one aim in mind – the deportation of illegals and those “legal” – who attained approvals through falsification and fraud.
I will soon seek a meeting with both our Home Minister and our professional and no nonsense tolerating IGP to see how the civil society can assist our security apparatus to keep Malaysia safe!
TOP GLOVE – WILL THE GLOBAL COMMUNITY HIT BACK ASKS MALAYSIAN ASEAN APEC LEAD CONSUMERIST PROF DR JACOB GEORGE
A silenced whistle blower, a full of hypocrisy, spineless trade and health ministries, a then-EU ambassador to Malaysia, Maria Castillo more interested in suggested running factories 24 hours a day, seven days a week rather than addressing fundamental issues of health concerns, the rights interests of workers human rights, from third world countries who is seen here as collateral damage?
What an embarrassment to the European Union who boast of ethics, standards and adhering to human rights?
I can understand the culture of Top Glove whose actions, inaction and failure mirrors how business is done in Malaysia and in certain third world countries, in their lack of duty of care has resulted in Malaysia’s biggest coronavirus cluster with more than 5,000 infections, about 94 percent of them foreigners?
I cannot but wonder what would have happened to the owners and top management of Top Glove if they had behaved in such a manner in their operations in Thailand, China and Vietnam?
More importantly, China and if the casualty figures involve Chinese nationals?
I was a consultant for a top multi-national American company In Malaysia and the line of approach was always a fast-track response, once I had briefed the top management, when there is crisis, taking the ‘bull by its horn’ – a response that protects the brand, the workers, and that the rights interests of all parties!
I was given both the powers and responsibility of making things right!
Here based on the commentaries coming out it is clear that Top Glove appears to be only concerned about its bottom line with no care or concern for the welfare of its workers or the community around the epicenter of the infection?
And the facts are as follows based on reports:
- The allegation that Top Glove silenced the whistle blower indicates that it knew that the working conditions were bad and it was flouting Covid 19 protocols.
- Were they more concerned with maximizing profits rather than welfare of its workers?
This is vicarious liability and certainly against all norms and business standards and of compliance issues of the global community.
- Reports and comments even from the Human Resources ministry give the impression which collaborates with eyewitnesses and workers allegations that some of the housing provided to workers was abysmal.
- While there was and is still an eerie silence from the powers that be in Malaysia and I can understand why the global community namely the American government has accused Top Glove of infringing international laws on migrant labor.
I am certain that soon, very soon there will be a global reaction to this company and that fallout will impact the Malaysian government who will be accused of showing and saying different things to different audiences which plainly now being addressed shows a shocking level of indifference, incompetence and hypocrisy?
So is Top Glove untouchable because they have deep pockets and very strong friends in super high places?
I keep reminding our ‘self-appointed local heroes’ most of us veterans, have access to the global intelligentsia from diplomats, policy-makers, UN agencies, NGOs, power circles in the Hague, and the WHO as well!
That it is always critical that we are consistent, transparent, accountable and with zero tolerance for hypocrisy and political agendas!
Sucking up, providing ‘alternative truths’, withholding raw intel and data, or wearing masks may serve one’s immediate political and career obsessions but ultimately, that smell of lies, fabrication and of betrayal of one’s oath of public office will bring a stench and no disinfectant or chemicals can wash off!
But you already know that, right?