Friday, June 19, 2009

Trafficking charge a shame for the whole country

by Steve Oh

I refer to the Malaysiakini report Malaysia blacklisted for human trafficking.

This report is yet another reason why the government has to crack down on corruption within its enforcement agencies.

For a long time now Malaysians have been aware of the immigration rot and its involvement in human trafficking and the public has been informed through media reports and blogs. Even Rela has been implicated yet the government seems reluctant to arrest the problem with the same gusto it sends its police to crack down on dissidents.

Human trafficking is an assault on human dignity, on humanity itself, and can't be condoned in a country that makes loud noises about morality but seems to be blind and deaf to the plight of the victims.

I recall reading accounts of refugees being abused, and females raped by Malaysian enforcement personnel. Such news is on public record. Yet the authorities have not stopped the illegal and inhumane activity.

Malaysia often prides itself as being a head above the rest of its neighbours in many things. But this latest indictment by the Americans who have the evidence to support their allegations cannot be ignored. It is a crime against humanity and a betrayal of all that the country stands for and the perpetrators must be brought to account.

Go after those who collude with the criminals and who grab a share in the proceeds of a crime against humanity. Confiscate the proceeds of the crime and establish a fund for the victims.

The proper response is an immediate task force formed of the police and other non-immigration personnel and respected community leaders to urgently crack down on this despicable and treacherous activity that has tarnished the country's image at home and abroad.

It is a shameful crime that no decent Malaysian should ever have to live with in their own backyard. I shall be pleased to be a member of this task force, however dangerous, if it sees the light of day.

But how serious is the government in restoring the country's seriously tainted image abroad? This blacklisting will put the country on the moral back foot and make it lose its moral authority to comment or act on other moral issues. Is this what the government wants?

Let's hope we see real moral leadership and a government response to arrest those evil people and dishonest immigration officials who make the lives of others hell on earth.

Civic groups should not relent in sending the message to the government that corruption involving the loss of public funds is one thing but corruption among government officials resulting in the victimization, even deaths of refugees and foreigners must not be tolerated.

Any government response short of an immediate crackdown will be seen as abetting the perpetrators. After all, the blacklist is not something new to Malaysians but a confirmation that human trafficking exists in their country and brings shame on all our heads.

No comments:

Post a Comment