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Getting to the root of migrant repression

The rounding up of undocumented immigrants and using a Dettol disinfectant spray on them is a symptom of a grand moral failure

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One of the most vital criteria of good governance is to seek truth objectively without the baggage of ideology or personal views.

Truth cannot emerge from partial information. A whole spectrum of information is vital to address any particular institutionalised behaviour and action.

It is sad that in Malaysia the quest for justice is limited or coloured in ethnic rhetoric or in the poor ability to perceive reality or truth broadly and accurately, especially among the ethno-religious mainstream political parties and some ethnic-centric leaders in so-called multi-ethnic parties.

How a country treats its most vulnerable population says a lot about the moral principles of governance.

The news that 156 undocumented migrants were detained by immigration authorities at an illegal settlement in Cyberjaya where they were sprayed with a Dettol disinfectant speaks volumes of Perikatan Nasional governing principles.

The undocumented migrant workers are human beings with dignity and families. Treating them in this manner reveals a serious ethical issue facing our enforcement agencies.

Good governance would get to the root of why there are undocumented workers in the country. What was the process that brought these undocumented workers to this country? Was there a powerful hidden hand in the Ministry of Home Affairs that approved these workers?

What about employers who were responsible for bringing these migrant workers to this country? Have ministry officials, employers and corporations been made accountable for their illegal actions? Have there been any landmark court cases and judgments on these issues?

While Covid-19 and the vaccination process could be the reason for rounding up undocumented migrant workers, that they are treated inhumanly should be a wake-up call for Malaysians to demand the truth behind the millions of undocumented workers nationwide.

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For a start, the Perikatan National government should hold public the inquiry and report by the independent committee on management of foreign workers (JKBPPA), initiated during the time of former human resources minister M Kula Segaran.

This would help us, to a certain extent, to get to the bottom of corruption and the abuse of power that has dented Malaysia’s integrity in governance and human rights record.

The rounding up of undocumented immigrants and using a Dettol disinfectant spray on them is a symptom of a grand moral failure in governance, which requires getting to the root of migrant repression. – The Malaysian Insight

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