In GE13, we witnessed disturbing patterns of latent animosity that reinforce our already discriminatory and prejudicial attitude towards migrants/immigrants, laments Linda Lumayag.
At GE13, the term ‘foreigners’ has become a euphemism for imported illegal voters. But those who have made Malaysia their second home are left in the dark, says Linda Lumayag.
The continued absence of a human rights framework to guide the discussions and policies pertaining to the recruitment and employment of domestic workers will only further perpetuate this institutionalised form of slavery, says Irene Fernandez in marking International Migrants Day.
To continue to vilify Irene and to prosecute her for upholding justice for foreign workers would be a bad misstep, writes Eric Cheah, who rallies to her defence.
To promise an amnesty and then to back-track and break those promises does not forge greater trust in the authorities, remarks Angeline Loh.
Tenaganita has been informed that a “big raid” was carried out in Melaka on 3 March 2012, at about 4.00am. The total number of migrants and refugees detained in that raid is currently unknown.
The mass arrests and detentions of migrants, refugees and stateless persons in Malaysia have begun.
Migrants from the Mekong neighbourhood are hugely resourceful and resilient, and they demand recognition and respect from their governments, says the Mekong Migration Network.
The Young Liberals and Democrats of Asia hopes the Malaysian government will find a solution to allow undocumented Burmese migrants to work with temporary permits rather than sending them to overcrowded detention camps.
The Malaysian government should scrap plans to expand a state-sponsored security force of civilian volunteers with a long record of human rights abuses against refugees and migrants, Amnesty International said.
Ikatan Relawan Rakyat, commonly known as Rela, aims to expand its membership from 1.6 million to 2.6 million by the end of the year, according to an interview given to the Associated Press by the organisation’s Director-General Zaidon Asmuni. However, Asmuni also said Rela would be unable to thoroughly train more than 8,000 new officers per year.
Amnesty International documented in two reports in 2010 how Rela volunteers regularly engage in physical abuse and extortion, and indiscriminately detained those with the legal right to be in the country.
“Rela agents are responsible for the most rampant human rights abuses against migrants and refugees in Malaysia,” said Sam Zarifi, Asia-Pacific Director at Amnesty International.
“Instead of curbing their abuses, the government plans to let loose a million more ill-trained civilians with police powers.”
Rela is a civilian volunteer corps, but the government authorises it to exercise police functions, including raiding, interrogating and detaining suspected illegal immigrants. Some Rela members are authorized to carry firearms.
Rela’s Director-General stated that new recruits will again be involved in the guarding of immigration detention centres, which has not been carried out on a large scale since mid-2009.
“Last year the Malaysian government promised Amnesty International that Rela would be stripped of its highly-criticised role in immigration enforcement, so it is very disappointing to see the force being handed back powers over immigration detention centres,” said Sam Zarifi.
Amnesty International has found that Rela lacks a clear structure of command responsibility, allowing Rela members to commit abuses without being held accountable.
19 August 2010