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Hamid Albar should present a
Ministerial statement in Parliament on Monday giving a detailed rebuttal to
the United States government’s inclusion of Malaysia on its list of human
(Parliament, Thursday): Foreign Minister, Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar should present a Ministerial statement in Parliament on Monday giving a detailed rebuttal to the United States government’s inclusion of Malaysia on its list of human trafficking offenders.
It is not enough for Syed Hamid to brush aside the US government report as one-sided for not taking into account what Malaysia had been doing or just to express amazement as to how the US government could come up with such a report.
The listing of Malaysia in the US government list of human trafficking offenders must not be taken lightly.
Malaysians should not be left with having to accept either the Malaysian government or the US government claim without the facts, and this is why Hamid should present a detailed Ministerial statement in Parliament fully stating the case for Malaysia as to why it should not be included in any list, whether US government or otherwise, of human trafficking offenders.
In the Ministerial statement, Hamid should give a full report of the exchanges between the two governments on the issue, as there must be considerable interaction between the two governments before the inclusion of Malaysia in the US government list of human trafficking offenders. Let the entire file of the bilateral exchanges be made public.
Malaysia was listed in the latest US annual Trafficking in Persons Report as one of the 16 countries in the Tier 3 ranking, which includes Cuba, Myanmar, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Venezuela.
According to the report, countries with Tier 3 ranking “do not fully comply with the minimum standards (to fight trafficking) and are not making significant efforts to do so,” which makes them eligible for US economic sanctions.
The report said Malaysia was placed in Tier 3 for its failure to show satisfactory progress in combating trafficking in persons, particularly in the areas of punishing acts of trafficking, providing adequate shelters and social services to victims.
It said the Government needed to demonstrate stronger political will to tackle Malaysia’s significant forced labour and sex trafficking problems.
Malaysia was blacklisted despite Parliament having passed the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Bill in April, the timing of which had taken into account the US government’s annual Trafficking in Persons Report.
The bill states that human trafficking will be an offence that carries a maximum jail term of 20 years and a fine of up to RM500,000. It provides protection to victims and severely punishes those who trafficked, harboured or profited from the offence.
MPs would want to know why the enactment of the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Bill in April had proved to be fruitless and resulted instead in Malaysia being included in the US government list of human trafficking offenders.
Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic
Planning Commission Chairman