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Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Malaysia: Former Prime Minister Hits Out at Whipping of Migrant Workers

From IPS Africa:

PENANG, Malaysia, Nov 15 (IPS) - Former deputy premier Anwar Ibrahim, an icon of Malaysia's pro-reform movement, has hit out at the Malaysian government's threat to whip undocumented workers if they fail to take advantage of a current amnesty period to return to their home countries.
... Anwar, who was recently freed from prison after six years' imprisonment, argued that if the nation did not want migrant workers without permits, they should be arrested and sent back properly.

''What happens now? They are caught, their money and hand-phones are stolen, they are whipped,'' he told a crowd of 2,000 during a visit to his home-state of Penang on Nov. 5. ''If you don't need them, fair (enough); arrest them and send them back but don't do such things."
''Whether they are from Bangladesh, Indonesia or Myanmar (Burma), they are human beings. And we have been taught to respect human beings.''

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