Thursday, February 25, 2010

How many migrant workers were wrongly arrested? detained? Be truthful..reveal all Mr Home Minister

The Home Minister 'smartly' reveals not the number of arrests made - but the number of detentions made. He is reported to have said, "...47,310 detentions were made..." in 2009.
"This involved 26,545 cases of illegal entry; 8,655 cases of overstaying after the visit pass or permit had lapsed; 6,836 cases of flouting pass or permit conditions or having fake permits; and the rest were for other offences," he said.


Then, he gives a breakdown for the reasons of detentions...
26,545 cases of illegal entry
8,655 cases of overstaying after the visit pass or permit had lapsed 
6,836 cases of flouting pass or permit conditions or having fake permits
That brings the total to 42,036 persons - and what are the possible other offences that caused the other  5,274 to be detained. 


Were they detained because they could not produce their original passport and pass/permits because the employer wrongly was holding on to them? I believe that this could have been the reason for the arrest and detention. 


Remember, this is Malaysia, and we have stories of even Malaysians being arrested and detained in the these Detention Centres. I recall the story of the pregnant Malaysian women who was arrested and detained for months....[Pregnant Malaysian mum wrongfully detained in Migrant Detention Centre for 11+ months ]

How many innocent persons, with proper documentations, were arrested and detained by Malaysia's Immigration, RELA, etc.? Based on the figures provided, and in light of the lack of detailed information of the possible other offences, I would say that at least 5,274 were wrongly arrested and detained at the Detention Centres. 


But, that does not indicate at all the numbers that were arrested, 'treated like "criminals" ' for hours/days, and later released because they were innocent? That could be a rather high figure - maybe even 100,000....a guess, no doubt. Mr Minister, do tell us the number that were arrested and released later because they were innocent, and their travel papers/visa/pass were all valid and proper.


I am also very doubtful about the figures given by the Minister - it seems a bit low. Between 2006 and 2008, it was disclosed in Parliament that there were 248,939. [If we take it as being 3 years, then number of detainees per year was about 83,000].

Mohsin Fadzli had also wanted to know the number of illegal immigrants held between 2006 and 2008 and the centres where they were detained in as well as the period of their detention.

Abu Seman said 248,939 were held at immigration depots nationwide during the period.- - Star, 10/12/2009, Parliament: RM30mil spent to send back 154,729 illegals

How many were really arrested and detained? Or is the Home Minister telling us that Malaysia is finally cutting down on its crackdowns on migrant workers?

A mechanism and system will be established to monitor the status of each foreigner in the country from the time they enter the country and leave??? - do we not already have it. Surely in all countries, including Malaysia, this already exists - just check the Immigration Computer records, Mr Minister. I am sure that the Immigration Department can tell you at any time whether a foreigner (tourist or migrant worker) is still in country or have left the country. So, this 'new proposal' may just be another scheme to waste public funds unnecessarily...



A mechanism and system will be established to monitor the status of each foreigner in the country from the time they enter the country and leave, said Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein.

He said enforcement should be under a comprehensive monitoring mechanism which could only be set up if there was a integrated information system.

bagan pinang by election nomination 031009 hishammuddin hussein"We are studying to improve the current information system to enable the checking of the status of a foreigner at any time and at any place.

"Our purpose is to check on the whereabouts of a foreigner who is not having legal status so that the person would be worried and concerned enough to leave the country quickly," he said in a statement today.

Hishammuddin (left), who saw for himself the large number of foreigners in the federal capital during the Chinese New Year holidays, said the proposal to have the mechanism will be tabled at the cabinet committee on foreign workers and illegal immigrants meeting which will be chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin on Feb 22.

"Taking into account that the issue of foreigners involves various ministries and agencies it is necessary that the proposal be tabled at the cabinet committee level that involves 13 ministries," he said.

Employers to assist

Hishammuddin said improvement in the management and monitoring of foreigners through a new strategy was needed in line with the current scenario where the movement foreign workers in and out of the country was difficult to detect through conventional means.

As an example, he said although enforcement involved various agencies from time to time, it still could not fully deter the entry of illegal immigrants.

bangladesh foreign workers migrants 030108As many as 7,099 operations had been conducted by the Immigration Department throughout the country last year and 47,310 detentions were made.

"This involved 26,545 cases of illegal entry; 8,655 cases of overstaying after the visit pass or permit had lapsed; 6,836 cases of flouting pass or permit conditions or having fake permits; and the rest were for other offences," he said.

Besides that, he said employers who hired foreign workers would also be roped in to help out as they played an important role in ensuring an effective improvement in the management and monitoring of foreigners.