Yesterday, I attended a public protest meeting held by the people of Tongkang Pechah, Batu Pahat, at the Balai Rakyat to protest against the criminal activities of illegal Indonesian immigrants, which have become a menace to law and order, as well as to human life and safety of property.
On 19th October 1984, a rubber tapper, Lim Ah Tee, 42, was killed by two illegal Indonesian immigrants at an oil palm plantation at Kampong Bukit Belah, Tongkang Pechah, leaving behind a wife, a four-year-old and a four-month baby girl and a 84-year-old mother.
Although the two illegal Indonesian immigrants had been convicted and sentenced to six years’ jail, their crime had caused great suffering and hardship to the victim’s family, who are now without any means of financial support.
Furthermore, the virtually unchecked presence and criminal activities of illegal Indonesian immigrants in the Tongkang Pechah area have caused great unease and anxiety to the extent that villagers have stopped going into the more remote smallholdings to work.
In the Kulai, Senai and Scudai area last week, there were a spate of criminal activities by illegal Indonesian immigrants, involving rape, armed robberies and assault. In one case, where a shotgun from a licensed holder was reported, the police did not turn up to investigate until after three hours later. The people in Kulai, Scudai and Senai are particularly angry that the Police seemed to be unconcerned about the activities of the illegal Indonesian immigrants and the crimes they commit when police reports are lodged by the public.
This was why the Kulai DAP Branch submitted a memorandum to the Kulai Police on 22nd November demanding more effective police action against the criminal activities of illegal Indonesian immigrants.
It will not be an exaggeration to say that the illegal Indonesian immigrants have emerged as one of the most serious social ad law-and-order problems in Peninsular Malaysia, especially from Selangor to Johore, and police responses to it had been grossly inadequate and ineffective.
The DAP calls on the Government to upgrade it seriousness in dealing with this problem, and the Cabinet should form a Special Task Force III (Illegal Indonesian Immigrants) to end this grave problem of illegal Indonesian Immigrants.
Figured given by the Deputy Minister of Home Affairs about the few thousands of illegal Indonesians immigrants who are deported every year is completely meaningless, for everybody knows that the situation had become so serious that those deported in the morning could return in the evening. They just turn back at the high seas without ever returning to Indonesia!
The problem of the illegal Indonesian immigrants is not a new problem, but up to now, the government is still pretending that there is no such problem, that there is no local syndicate, that it had not been great cause of crime. I want to ask the Government why it is trying to ‘cover up’ the gravity of the illegal Indonesian immigrant problem.
I am very concerned that Malaysia has become a haven of hardened criminals of Indonesia who run to Malaysia to escape being summarily executed by the ‘killer squads’ formed by the Government to try to bring the criminal situation in the country under control without having to arrest and try them.
The police must not allow Malaysia to become the new field of operation of these hard-boiled Indonesian criminals, who would stoop to nothing to kill at the slightest provocation. I will not be surprised if these hardened Indonesian criminals who are on the run from the killer squads in Indonesia are involved in many of the major crimes in Malaysia.
The people must wake up from their complacency, and the government from its indifference, over the illegal Indonesian immigrant problem. It should be approached as akin to a national security problem, involving the government and civic organizations to repatriate all illegal Indonesian immigrants from Malaysia.
Datuk Musa Hitam had signed an agreement with the Indonesian government on the supply of Indonesian workers, but this had not halted in any manner the influx of illegal Indonesian immigrants.
The government must also bear responsibility for the victims of crimes of illegal Indonesian immigrants. Lim Ah Tee, for instance, would still be alive toward to look after his family if the government had not failed in its responsibility to check the influx of illegal Indonesian Immigrants.
I call on the Government to compensate the family of Lim Ah Tee and all other victims of the criminal activities of illegal Indonesian immigrants, for the government must be held responsible for the situation.
The people have had enough problems of illegal Indonesian immigrants, and they must stand up and protest loud and clear, and long enough, for the government to hear and see the people’s demands.
We must not allow Malaysia to become a country where other nationals whether from Indonesia or any other country, could enter at abandon, rob, rape and kill without overall counter-strategy by the government to wipe out his menace.
(Speech by Parliament Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Kota Melaka, Lim Kit Siang in Dewan Rakyat on the allocation for the Ministry of Home Affairs on November 26, 1984)