News/Malaysia: Malaysia may cane repeat illegal immigrants

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Subject: News/Malaysia: Malaysia may cane repeat illegal immigrants
From: Melanie Orhant (morhant@igc.org)
Date: Fri Mar 31 2000 - 09:38:42 EST


Great! So now Malaysia is going to starting caning victims of
trafficking. These people are being sold into slavery & the
government is going to cane them - I just can't believe it.

melanie......

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Malaysia may cane repeat illegal immigrants

KUALA LUMPUR, March 4 (AFP) - Illegal immigrants caught entering Malaysia a
second time may face caning as well as imprisonment, a report said Saturday.

Deputy Home Minister Zainal Abidin Zin said the provision already existed
in law but had not been enforced on illegal immigrants.

"Our prosecutors will be asked to push the courts to impose whipping apart
from the jail terms for those caught entering the country illegally for the
second time," the Star newspaper quoted him as saying Friday.

Zainal said thumbprints of deported illegal immigrants would be recorded to
emable authorities to indentify repeat offenders.

The minister was speaking during a visit to the eastern state of Sabah on
Borneo island, where there are an estimated 100,000 illegal immigrants.
Many are from the neighbouring Philippines.

In another case reported Saturday, 28 Sri Lankans detained by immigration
authorites in Penang island were said to have been offered "for sale" to
different employers.

Newspapers quoted state immigration director Mohamad Saad Mohamad Akhir as
saying they were part of a group of 125 workers brought in legally to work
on a plantation.

He said only 47 were actually working at the plantation, 50 had returned to
Sri Lanka after refusing to accept other jobs and 28 were offered to
various employers before being "sold" for 1,000 ringgit (263 dollars) each
to a golf course contractor.

The Sri Lankans were discovered in an empty shop without electricity, water
and proper food. They are due to be deported Sunday.

Two local agents who hired them have gone into hiding. They face charges
punishable by up top five years' jail.

Earlier this week Malaysia lifted a blanket ban on foreign workers in
various sectors due to the improving economy but listed 138 occupations
which must be filled by locals in future.

There are 697,219 registered foreign workers in the country, including
517,766 from Indonesia, 129,000 from Bangladesh, 30,500 from the
Philippines, 3,280 from Pakistan and 2,888 from Thailand.
Melanie Orhant <<morhant@igc.org>>
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dealing with human rights abuses associated with trafficking
in persons, with an emphasis on public health and trafficking
in persons for forced labor, including forced prostitution,
sweatshop labor, domestic service and some coercive mail
order bride arrangements.
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