Klang MP Charles Santiago has slammed Home Minister Hamzah Zainuddin who said yesterday that elected representatives who support migrant rights should work to get papers for undocumented migrant workers.
“There is a reason as to why you need to think before you speak. When you don’t, you end up showing your ignorance and arrogance, a terrible combination.
“Those of us working on migrant and labour issues have reminded this government and previous ones about the role played by agents and middlemen in rendering migrant workers undocumented.
“We have asked for these unscrupulous people to be investigated and charged in an open court,” said Charles in a statement today.
Malaysiakini has also detailed how legal migrant workers slip through the cracks of the system after arriving here.
Malaysia has at least four million undocumented workers in the country and 90 percent of them entered Malaysia through legal channels, said Charles
“Not only has Hamzah sided with the labour agents, but he has started a vicious campaign of misinformation about this vulnerable group of people.
“If anything, elected representatives have a duty to drum it into Hamzah’s head that they need to also get vaccinated for us to achieve herd immunity.
“It’s ironic that despite holding a senior cabinet position, the home minister doesn’t know that no one is safe until everyone is,” he added.
Hamzah’s remarks yesterday came after he was slammed by more than 20 elected officials from both sides of the divide in two separate statements attacking him over his planned joint operation to arrest undocumented migrants.
The officials included deputy speaker Azalina Othman Said, former ministers Maszlee Malik and Mujahid Yusof Rawa, Senator Liew Chin Tong, Permatang Pauh MP Nurul Izzah Anwar, Batang Lupar MP Rohani Binti Abdul Karim, Sepanggar MP Mohd Azis Jamman and many others including Charles himself.
They chided Hamzah over his proposal and urged him to talk to Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Khairy Jamaluddin who had said earlier that undocumented foreign nationals will not be arrested when they come forward for Covid-19 vaccinations, adding that this assurance was crucial in achieving herd immunity.
Charles today said that the preposterous statements and mockery by Hamzah will end up being detrimental to society and the latter should instead find a way to earn the trust of undocumented migrants.
“Hands off the elected representatives who stand in solidarity with the migrant workers and other vulnerable people, and while you are at it, do invite all of us, academics and NGOs working on health and migrant issues to give you proper advice,” he added. – Malaysiakini