MALAYSIA ASEAN APEC LEAD CONSUMERIST PROF DR JACOB GEORGE LAUDS HOME MINISTER’S ACTION IN IMPENDING ACTION ON ILLEGALS!

HOME MINISTER’S ACTION LAUDED FOR IMPENDING ACTION ON ILLEGALS!

Being a Consumer Advocate and having worked alongside the Home Ministry over 35 years in addressing security matters and the many challengers and threats that confront us from the huge numbers of documented and undocumented workers and foreigners, I cannot but congratulate current Home Minister, Muhyiddin Yassin, for being the first to put a strategic plan along time lines open to audit, which includes a joint inter-ministerial task force.

The plan is a strict departure from previously announced initiatives which at worst, were allegedly still born in view saboteurs!

Manpower is a multi-billion ringgit industry and one should never underestimate the reach and influence of insiders, politicians, political war lords, industry players and predators!

As such, the five key strategies namely:

1. Enforcement Operation Strategy which underlines the implementation plan relating to enforcement operations against Pati nationwide;

2. Legislative and Enforcement Policy Strategy which underlines the implementation plan relating to the drafting of new laws and coordination of policies on the enforcement against Pati;

3. Entry Point and Border Control Strategy, which underlines the implementation plan relating to security control and monitoring activities at the country’s borders and entry points;

4. Foreigners Management Strategy, which underlines the coordination plan of policies relating to foreign nationals; and

5. Media and Publicity Strategy, which underlines the plan relating to media coverage, publicity and awareness programs if professionally and without fear nor favor implemented, can see in my humble view and experience, results in the first 18 months!

For the strategy to work, it is pertinent that a new but experienced team be put in place reporting directly to the Home Minister and a special task force set up comprising of experienced members from the security apparatus, various ministries and the NGO community!

Without this framework in place, this strategy like its many forerunners since the 80’s will see failure!

The Home Minister is correct, that it is time we make the Eco-system, where these illegals live and move be made highly uncomfortable!

Basically it is community effort here,
Simple, serious, direct grassroots response and highly effective!

A strategy that involves the state governments, local authorities, village community management councils and village development, security and housing estate committees!

We can all spot a foreigner and stranger in our community!
And we must do our part!

It is time to get rid of the illegals safe havens and those who provide them insulation!

It is also pertinent to ask why there are still Malaysian employers using illegal foreign labor?

It is well known that these employers face penalties based on our Criminal Procedure Code: heavy fines; possible imprisonment; caning when caught employing more than five illegal workers.

No ordinary employer will sneezed at the penalties but the fact remains staring us in the face, foreigners can still find employment illegally.

The inference is super obvious.

The Home Ministry herself confirms that between Jan 1 and June 4 this year, the Immigration Department had carried out 7,940 operations, during which almost 100,000 foreigners were screened.

That legal action had also been taken against 23,295 Pati, with Indonesian nationals making up the highest number of those arrested at 8,011 (34 percent), followed by Bangladeshis (5,272 or 23 percent) and the remaining comprising those from Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand and others.

No small number these.

But we have a saying that for every one offender caught ten get away!

And that is never a joke!

It is obvious that the benefits of cheap labor far outweigh the fear of getting caught, which, in turn, means that enforcement is either far from adequate or officers can be bought off.

Given the reports of corruption in the Immigration Department and other security apparatus structures following the human trafficking scandals recently, this is a serious probability which has to be addressed, not ignored or swept under the carpet!

We must also remember, that even Premier Tun Mahathir Mohamad, had recently remarked both on the sine biotic relationship between corruption and illegals!

The danger facing Malaysia, which includes terrorism, is real, given the danger of our open borders and recent arrests!

All entry and exit points must be plugged because the situation is no longer a benign one of “helping thy neighbor”, the poor from neighboring countries in a simple quid pro quo arrangement!

All law abiding peace loving Malaysians, do pray that the efforts now proposed will address what was previously a labor shortage issue now transformed into one with internal security implications!

And both locals, foreigners and their conduits, whosoever they may be, in the process must be treated as a security risk and action taken immediately!