Malaysia 'won't lock up foreigners'

PM rejects calls to tackle crime by locking up migrant workers.

    Many migrant workers are employed in
    Malaysia's construction industry [EPA]
    "But if the intention is to them lock up, it will not be acceptable."
     
    Efforts by police to regulate foreign labourers' movements would violate their basic rights, he said.
     
    Malaysia, with a population of about 27 m, has long attracted migrant workers from poorer neighbours such as Indonesia, Myanmar, India and Bangladesh.
     
    Many of them work in menial plantation or construction jobs that most Malaysians refuse to do.
     
    The government has said about 1.8 m foreigners work legally in Malaysia, while an estimated 700,000 others lack proper documents.
     
    But the government has come under pressure recently amid reports of a growing crime wave and other social problems that some blame on foreign – particularly Indonesian - workers.
     
    Monitoring
     

    Malaysia has staged periodic crackdowns
    on illegal foreign workers[EPA]

    According to police of the 230,000 crimes reported in 2006, some 5,000 were committed by foreigners.
     
    Last week Radzi Sheikh Ahamad, the Malaysian home minister, said his ministry intended to propose a bill calling for the confinement of about 2.5 m foreign workers.
     
    The chief of police Malaysian police Chief Musa Hassan said the proposal was meant to curb crime by monitoring foreign workers' activities and restricting their movements.
     
    Under the plan workers would not be allowed to leave their living quarters unless they registered with their employers, who would be responsible for their movements.
     
    Malaysian and international rights groups have condemned the idea, saying it could appear to be racial profiling and worsen already poor living conditions for foreign workers.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    What obstacles do young women in technology have to overcome to achieve their dreams? Play this retro game to find out.

    Heron Gate mass eviction: 'We never expected this in Canada'

    Hundreds face mass eviction in Canada's capital

    About 150 homes in one of Ottawa's most diverse and affordable communities are expected to be torn down in coming months

    I remember the day … I designed the Nigerian flag

    I remember the day … I designed the Nigerian flag

    In 1959, a year before Nigeria's independence, a 23-year-old student helped colour the country's identity.