Malaysia’s Efforts To Combat Human Trafficking Recognised

Malaysia has been taken off the US Human Trafficking Watchlist after its position in the watchlist has improved to Tier-2 (pic courtest of Fact Retriever)

Slavery has been around since the beginning of time. Up until the introduction of the English Common Law in the Malay States, those who can no longer afford to pay taxes entered bondage slavery to keep their daily bread. Such was the time when slavery was almost all about labour exploitation.

And then the British brought in workers from Southern China and India to toil the tin mines and rubber plantations respectively.  Other than bringing in opium to keep them happy, Chinese females were also brought in to fulfill their sexual desires.

Today, there are more human slaves in the world than ever before in history. There are an estimated 27 million adults and 13 million children around the world who are victims of human trafficking. (Skinner, E. Benjamin. A Crime So Monstrous: Face-to-Face with Modern-Day Slavery. New York, NY: Free Press, 2008).  Nearly 80% of human trafficking is for sex, and 19% is for labor exploitation (http://www.ncdsv.org/images/NCADV_HumanTraffickingFacts.pdf ).

Two years ago we were shocked by reports of Malaysia being used as a base for human traffickers with the discovery of 28 camps and 139 graves of trafficked Rohingyas in Wang Kelian.

A forensic policeman transports body bags with human remains found at the site of human trafficking camps in the jungle close the Thailand border after bringing them to a police camp near Wang Kelian in northern Malaysia May 25, 2015. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

Since then the government has pulled out all stops in its efforts to eradicate the menace. Najib Razak even made a personal decision to become more involved in combatting human rights violators, especially in the realm of human trafficking. He instituted a government-wide initiative to consolidate efforts. Working with law enforcement, immigration authorities, the manufacturing and agriculture sectors and NGO’s, the Malaysian government planned and executed a comprehensive effort to combat trafficking at the local and regional levels.

The efforts have since paid off.  The latest US State Department’s Trafficking In Person (TIP) report, Malaysia was elevated from a watch list to “Tier 2”, which represents significant efforts to combat human trafficking.  This is as a result of the Prime Minister driving the efforts to improve in several key areas, which the US has today recognised as achieving.

Not all are thankful that the efforts made by the government, notably Klang MP Charles Santiago who calls the US State Department’s TIP report a ‘farce‘ that is ‘driven by political objectives.’

The Farcical MP

Charles Santiago is the same person who in 2015 asked then-US President Barack Obama NOT to elevate Malaysia’s TIP status from Tier 3.  Nothing good should ever come to Malaysia for as long as it is not he nor his comical colleagues that are in power.

Charles Santiago asking Obama in 2015 not to make Malaysia look good to anyone

This MP is from the very same Pakatan coalition that the US Department of Justice’s suit on 1MDB-related individuals and companies are not politically-motivated because it would hit the Barisan Nasional hard, but argue that the US State Department’s TIP report as politically-driven instead because it does no good to the Pakatan’s aimless struggle.

Making stupid calls over nothing

According to the US TIP report, the Malaysian government conducted 106 risk assessments and ultimately granted six victims work visas and 12 special immigration passes for freedom of movement. An additional 28 victims were approved for freedom of movement. Prosecutions were initiated by the Malaysian government against 175 alleged traffickers, up from 38 initiated the previous year. The government convicted 35 traffickers—18 for labour trafficking and 17 for sex trafficking.  There were 1,558 trafficking victims identified in Malaysia last year and 3,411 cases investigated by the Royal Malaysian Police.

The report added that the Malaysian government demonstrated increasing efforts compared to the previous reporting period. During the reporting period, the Malaysian Attorney-General approved and the Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi enforced implementing regulations for the amendments to the anti-trafficking law.

As for the protection of the trafficking victims, the report says that Malaysian officials provided three NGOs with funds to conduct various programs and activities with trafficking shelter residents. They also increased its funding allocation to the Ministry of Women, Family, and Community Development to operate government facilities for trafficking victims.

As a matter of fact, the Ministry of Women, Family, and Community Development maintained seven facilities specifically to house trafficking victims, and the government allocated RM3.06 million (USD682,270) to open three new trafficking shelters.

With this elevation, Malaysia is now a regional leader in combatting human trafficking.  Najib Razak will be working with regional countries, in particular the ASEAN nations,  that are lagging behind, and will support efforts by Myanmar, Laos and Thailand to solve their trafficking problems.

While we should all be proud of this achievement, we should spare no effort to eradicate this inhumane trade.  However, credit should be given where credit is due, and politicising issues such as this shows how selfish one can be putting his/her agenda above the nation’s.

It Is Okay Being Racist If You Are A Minority

It is called “reverse racism” and among the ways it works is by making racist remarks against the majority claiming it is a reaction against oppression.

Yesterday I received a WhatsApp message that has been making its way around on the Internet purportedly sent by DAP’s people:

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Forgive me for getting technical with this but I have to endeavour to make people understand the background of this nation to understand the current situation we are in. I cannot possibly answer all the allegations above as I do not work for the government therefore I do not have all the data needed but I shall make references to publicly-available documents.

The Malay States were rich with tin and land for rubber plantations.  This led to the signing of treaties to enable the British to have a share of the wealth and the creation of British protectorates of the Federated Malay States (formed in 1895 with common institutions such as the State Constitution, and a Resident-General administering the states on behalf of, and answerable to the Sultans and Yam DiPertuan Besar as his salary was paid by them) and the Unfederated Malay States (C.D Cowan, 1961; Emily Sadka, 1968; Eunice Thio, 1969).

The economy was divided into two systems – tin mining and rubber plantations dominated by the Chinese, and peasant farming and inshore fishing conducted by the Malays (M Yusof Saari, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Malaysia; Erik Dietzenbacher and Bart Los, Univeristy of Groningen, The Netherlands – World Development, Volume 76, December 2015, pp. 311-328).

With the expansion of mining and rubber lands, the Malays got pushed back to the edges of primary forests, and away from economic wealth that both the Chinese and Indians were enjoying.

EW Birch, the 8th British Resident of Perak, recognized this dire situation and quickly proposed a policy of preserving the Malay land. The only way to him to preserve the Malay race was to “free them from the clutches of those people who now remit to Indian large sums of money, which they bleed from the (Malay) people.”

This later became the Malay Reservation Land Act which spirit is preserved in the Malaysian Federal Constitution. Even Sir Frank Athelstane Swettenham conceded that something had to be done to preserve the Malays. He wrote:

“In the Malay sketches contained in this and a previous volume, I have endeavoured to portray,…the Malay as he is in own country, against his own picturesque and fascinating background…The position he occupies in the body politic is that of the heir to the inheritance. The land is Malaya and he is the Malay. Let the infidel Chinese and evil-smelling Hindu from southern India toil, but of their work let some profit come to him.”

The Chinese and Indians brought over by the British were British subjects as far as the colonised parts of Malaya were (Pulau Pinang, Melaka and Singapore).  However, the ones in the Malay States were disinclined to give allegiance to the respective Sultans as they pledged allegiance to their homeland.

In 1911, the Malays made up 53% of the population. By 1931, they were already outnumbered and in 1941 formed only 41% of the population.  The Chinese community was at 43%, displacing the Malays as the dominant racial group. The Malays were in a disadvantageous position and this proved explosive in 1946 during the Bekor tragedy.  The Malays remained as the minority until 1970.

And if you think the Malays have done well since then, the table below will show that despite the NEP being in place, the income of the Chinese grew tremendously as compared to the Malays (M Yusof Saari, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Malaysia; Erik Dietzenbacher and Bart Los, Univeristy of Groningen, The Netherlands – World Development, Volume 76, December 2015, pp. 311-328):

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Allegation 1 – Of the Top 5 Banks, Only One is Non-Malay

The top five banks are Malayan Banking, CIMB, Public Bank, RHB Capital, and Hong Leong Financial Group.

If you see who the top 30 shareholders of Maybank are, you would see that they are mostly government investment agencies, or nominees especially by Citigroup. Citigroup is NOT Malay.  However, you would see that at Number 28, a private individual is an individual shareholder.  He is NOT Malay.

The top shareholders of CIMB as of 30 June 2015, are Khazanah Nasional – 29.34 %, Employees Provident Fund (EPF) – 17.51 %, Kumpulan Wang Persaraan (KWAP) – 3.61 % and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group – 4.61 %.

Public Bank, although third in the list, was the second largest bank in Malaysia by market capitalisation in September 2016.  Its major shareholder is Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Dr. Teh Hong Piow, who has a 23.79% stake in the bank as of 26 January 2016. Teh is also the bank’s founder and chairman. He is NOT Malay.

I can skip and go on to Hong Leong Financial group if you want to see the shareholding information.

Allegation 2 – 99% of PETRONAS Directors Are Malays

The DAP and Pakatan are famous for plucking numbers from the sky.

Two of 16 directors of PETRONAS are non-Malays so that makes 12.5%.  Therefore, only 87.5% are Malays. Now look at their respective background and tell me of they are not qualified to be there.

PETRONAS is a government-owned company. It is not an Ah Beng Enterprise (no reference to Lim Guan Beng) and the board is answerable to the Government on all matters.

Allegation 5 – 100% PETRONAS Contractors Are Bumiputeras

Bumi Armada is one of the largest suppliers of offshore support vessels, Floating Production, Storage and Offloading (FPSO) units, Floating Gas Solutions (FLNG/FSRU/FSU) to PETRONAS. It is an Ananda Krishnan company. Ananda Krishnan is NOT Malay.

Allegation 6 – Chinese Companies Must Have 30% Bumiputera Employees; Malay Companies Can Have 0% Chinese

Again, this is very racist and a blatant lie.

There is NO legal requirement that companies have to employ 30% Bumiputera.  Otherwise you will not get these racist advertisements:

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You are only required to show your Bumiputera equity be it 30%, 51% or 100% if you are tendering for a Bumiputera-open or Bumiputera-limited contracts.  That is EQUITY, not employees.

In reality too, most “Bumiputera” companies that tender for government contracts are actually Chinese-run companies that use Malay names on the license and application forms.  Malays are given 30% allocation while non-Malays have 70% but even the 30% has non-Malay participations.

They always claim that they are the “second-class” citizens of this country yet they are the ones who control the economy.

Do you think if policies are not in place they would care for the Bumiputeras?

And by saying Bumiputera, I mean the Malays and the natives of Sabah and Sarawak who are economically second-class citizens in their own land as the Chinese are the ones who dominate the economy there.

Allegations 7-10: Minimum Participation of Non-Malays in Government Sector

In 2014, the Royal Malaysian Police had had to lower the entry requirements to cater for the non-Malays – all they need to do is PASS the Bahasa Malaysia subject in their SPM exams.

Even that they cannot do.

In 2016, out of a force of 90,000, Indians made up 3.3% of the total while Chinese 1.77%. In 2016, the Royal Malaysia Air Force the non-Bumiputeras number about 5% of the total 15,000.

This is not due to the pay offered.  I don’t think they are interested to serve a Malay-majority government.

Allegation 13 – Kedah Chinese Rice Farmers Have To Sell To Malay-owned BERNAS

BERNAS is a company that regulates the supply and price of rice in Malaysia to deny millers exorbitant profit at the expense of end users.

BERNAS’s top 30 share holders in 2012 are as follows.  Note the solo individual top shareholder.  Again, he is NOT Malay.

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Allegations 19-22: Malay Schools versus Non-Malay Schools

First – THERE ARE NO “MALAY SCHOOLS.”  They are the National Schools where all children are supposed to go to, mix, learn and grow up together.  Most Chinese or Tamil schools are private schools and are self-funded.  That is why we see only a small chunk of the budget go towards the latter two.

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Now if we go back to the first paragraph of the WhatsApp message that I received, it is mentioned that the Malaysian government practices racial discrimination, yet the baseless allegations made that I am familiar with have been shot down.

We have seen also that because of their weakness in their command of the Bahasa Malaysia, a language they are supposed to have mastered after 60 years, they have failed to join the public sector. This is due to the fact that they refuse to learn anything that is not taught in their mother tongue.

They would rather that their children do not grow up with the children of the Malays or learn to speak the language that has always been the language of this land and is enshrined in the Federal Constitution as the language of the nation.

So who is it that wants segragation? Who is being racist?

NOT the Malays.

As for those who migrated from Malaysia, those are the free-riders with no loyalty whatsoever to the nation.  When the going gets tough, leave for seemingly easier life.  For those people, loyalty lies in the pocket.

If this government is being racist do you think that there would be vernacular schools? Do you think DAP’s Chen Man Hin would have made RM790 million from a government company?

So who is being racist here?  Obviously DAP itself.  Out of the 30 Central Executive Committee members there are only four Indians/Indian diaspora. one Malay and two Sabah/Sarawak Bumiputera.

Again, the rest are NOT Malays.