Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Kota Melaka, Lim Kit Siang, at the Public Protest meeting against illegal Indonesian immigrants organised by the Rengit DAP Branch in Rengit, Johore on Saturday, Dec. 15, 1984 at 8 pm
DAP calls for new laws which would make it an offence to employ illegal Indonesian immigrants
Although the Police had been rounding-up illegal Indonesian immigrants in various states, this action recently is unsatisfactory as it does not touch the ice-berg of the problem of the illegal Indonesian immigrants, nor does it deal with the root of problem.
The arrest of a few hundred illegal Indonesian immigrants and seeding them back is a ‘flea’s bite’ at the problem which has reached some 300,000 illegal immigrants in the country, especially as those repatriated to Indonesia today could return tomorrow.
In the past there had also been such sporadic police arrests when public anger had been aroused at the blatant criminal actions of illegal Indonesian immigrants, but such police actions are not sustained and are ended after a time.
The authorities have so far turned a ‘blind eye’ to the presence of the 300,000 illegal Indonesian immigrants in the country. This is not tolerable any more because of the great increase of crimes like house-breaking, armed robbery, rape and murders committed by the illegal Indonesian immigrants.
The people must unite to demand a systematic and long-term programme to end the problem of illegal Indonesian immigrants. We do not expect this problem to be resolved overnight, but a start must firmly be made.
Johore must be particularly concerned about this problem, or it would be turned into the Sabah of Peninsular Malaysia, where the Filipino refugees and illegal Indonesian immigrants occupy about 25 per cent of the population.
As the Sabah Police Commissioner Datuk Haji Monamed Noor Khamis said recently, the Filipino refugees and illegal Indonedian immigrants treated the resource-rich Sabah as a ‘lawless cowboy state’. According to Datuk Haji Mohamed Noor Khamis, the crime rate in Sabah has doubled since 1982 with 70 per cent of the crimes committed by the illegal Indonesian immigrants and Filipino refugees.
The DAP calls on the Government to set up a special task force to deal with the problem of illegal Indonesian immigrants in Peninsular Malaysia, for it is reaching crisis proportion. The people of Malaysia have a right to know why the Government reacted in panic and virtually declared a national crisis when the Vietnamese refugees fled Vietnam and landed in Malaya, but treated the presence of the 300,000 illegal Indonesian immigrants as if it is a minor problem.
As part of a long-term and sustained programme to end the problem of the illegal Indonesian immigrants, the DAP calls for the introduction of laws which would make it an offence for Malaysians to be involved in the illegal Indonesian immigrant racket, whether in bringing them into Malaysia, or in employing them in the estates and plantations, or in giving them refuge and shelter.
Already, many estates and plantations are sacking and retrenching Malaysian workers to employ cheap illegal Indonesian immigrant labour. The Labour Ministry is conniving in this process, for its officials are not using powers they possess to bring such practices to bring such practices to a halt. It is a misfortune for Malaysians that they have a Labour Minister, Datuk Mak Hon Kam, who is completely indifferent to this problem of illegal Indonesian immigrants creating unemployment for Malaysians.