Media Statement by Liew Chin Tong in Parliament on Wednesday, 17th June 2009:
Caning of illegal migrants is not the solution
I received a parliamentary reply from Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein on the issue of the caning of illegal foreign workers.
I asked the Minister to state the number of persons caned since the amendment to the Immigration Act in 2002, and their nationalities.
The Minister informed the Parliament that 34,923 persons have been caned between 2002 and 2008. Sixty point two percent of those caned were Indonesian, followed by 14.1 percent Filipino and 13.9 percent from Myanmar.
After seven years of implementation, such punishment has neither served as a deterrent to nor affected the number of illegal foreign workers entering Malaysia.
Illegal foreign workers continue to enter the country because the real problems - corruption and rent-seeking in human trafficking - have never been dealt with.
Caning is a cruel and humiliating punishment, especially to the down-trodden illegal foreign workers that arrive here from Malaysia's neighbouring countries, particularly Indonesia.
It is time for a review of the Immigration Act and Malaysia's approach on immigration.
* Liew Chin Tong, DAP International Secretary & MP for Bukit Bendera