Monday, May 31, 2010

Malaysia considering allowing refugees to work

Malaysia may be allowing refugees to work in Malaysia (Would that also extend to all asylum seekers? - i.e. those seeking refugee status...where process is still not yet over and they have yet to be classified as UNHCR recognized Refugees). Logically, it should....

I wonder whether all this had anything to do with Najib's visit to the US to meet Obama - wonder whether they will still be considering this proposal seriously now that the meeting with Obama is in the past...

Pearl Lee
Thursday, March 11th, 2010 11:53:00 [Malay Mail]
PETALING JAYA: The proposal to allow refugees to work in Malaysia will be discussed between the Home Ministry and government agencies on March 16.

Ministry secretary-general Datuk Seri Mahmood Adam said it would be attended by representatives from relevant ministries and agencies including the Ministries of Home Affairs, Human Resource, International Trade and Industry, Agriculture and Foreign Affairs, the National Security Council, Immigration Department and United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees representatives.

"The ministries need to attend the meeting because of the various industries that these refugees may be working in," he said.

The proposal to allow refugees to work in the country was announced by Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishamuddin Hussein last month.

The plan is to allow some 80,000-odd refugees in the country seek employment.

The call by Hishamuddin was made after various sectors had asked the government to allow refugees to work here while waiting to be resettled in a third country.

Several parties, including the Malaysian Trades Union Congress, had called on the government to allow refugees to work, particularly in labourstrapped sectors, instead of importing more foreigners.

Second proposal to employ refugees NST (16 February 2010)

KUALA LUMPUR:The Human Resources Ministry will present to the cabinet another proposal allowing the 90,000-odd refugees in the country to work.

Minister Datuk Dr S. Subramaniam said he had put up a case to the cabinet some time ago, but no decision was taken then.

 He said he believed it would be a good move now to employ the refugees. "I will bring it up again and see what we can do," he told the New Straits Times.

"Personally, l would like them (refugees) to work. They have to survive. Obviously (while here) they are working to survive and eat. So, might as well legalise it and regulate it. That is a better thing.

"Subramaniam said utilising refugees as a workforce while they waited to be resettled elsewhere would also prove beneficial to the country's economic well-being.

He was asked to respond to a call by the Malaysian Trades Union Congress, which wanted the government to allow refugees to work in labour-strapped organisations instead of the country importing foreign workers.

MTUC secrectary-general G. Rajasegaran had said the thousands of refugees now in the country could be easily absorbed as workers in various industries.

By doing so, the government would not only be able to save millions of ringgit in sustaining these refugees, but would also gain recognities for being a humane country, he said.

Rajasegaran was commenting on the recent announcement that 100,000 new visas were approved for foreign workers in the last three months.

 Latest figures revealed by Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishamuddin hussein showed there were 1.2 million legal foreign workers in Malaysia. There are believed to be an equal number of illegal or undocumented workers.

According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees(UNCHR), Malaysia hosts some 90,000 refugees.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

34,923 whippings were carried out for immigration offences between 2002 and 2008

KUALA LUMPUR: Stop whipping illegal immigrants as a form of punishment, Amnesty International urged Malaysia.

It also criticised attempts by the Government to muzzle freedom of expression.

Under Malaysian law, those staying in the country illegally are subject to a mandatory six lashes of the cane, fines and up to five years in jail.

“Degrading methods of punishment such as whipping should cease immediately if Malaysia has accepted to uphold the protection of human dignity,” said Nora Murat, Amnesty’s Malaysia executive director.

The whipping sentence was added to Malaysian immigration laws in 2002 amid concern over the ramifications of having a large migrant workforce.

In the Malaysia chapter of its 2010 human rights annual report released on Thursday, the London-based group said 34,923 whippings were carried out for immigration offences between 2002 and 2008.

Malaysia, South-East Asia’s third-largest economy, has 2.2 million migrant workers, who are the mainstay of the plantation and manufacturing sectors.

Amnesty also criticised the Government for attempting to silence bloggers with the threat of jail sentences, and breaking up peaceful protests.

“Even a silent candlelight vigil was condemned (by the Govern­ment), with protesters arrested, thus denying the public the right to peaceful assembly,” Nora said. — AFP - Star, 29/5/2010, Stop whipping illegals, Amnesty tells Malaysia

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Amend the law to cover deaths in Immigration Detention Places, Drug Rehab Centres, etc...

Amend the law to cover deaths in Immigration Detention Places, Drug Rehab Centres, etc...

There really is a need to amend  the Criminal Procedure Code, to extend inquiries of a death of a person to Immigration Detention Centres, Drug Rehabilitation Centres, Henry Gurney School,... i.e. all places of detention. Now, section 334 confines itself only to 'custody of police'(which would include police lock-ups), psychiatric hospitals or prisons...when there are so many other places of detention in Malaysia.

It should also be extended to include custody of the RELA, Immigration enforcement officers, and other enforcement officers...

What about persons in the custody of other private persons, who also do have the right to arrest persons... 

Of late, there have been a lot of cases of death in Immigration Detention Centres.... and the current law about 'inquiries of death', imposes no obligation on the person in charge of Immigration Detention Centres to  "... immediately give intimation of such death to the nearest Magistrate..."


334.  Inquiry into cause of death of a person in custody of police or in any asylum.
When any person dies while in the custody of the police or in a psychiatric hospital or prison, the officer who had the custody of that person or was in charge of that psychiatric hospital or prison, as the case may be, shall immediately give intimation of such death to the nearest Magistrate, and the Magistrate or some other Magistrate shall, in the case of a death in the custody of the police, and in other cases may, if he thinks expedient, hold an inquiry into the cause of death. - sec 334, Criminal Procedure Code (Act 953)