By Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Kota Melaka, Lim Kit Siang, in Malacca on Friday, 13.9.1985:
DAP welcomes Musa Hitam’s announcement of the revamping of Task Force VII to cover all illegal immigrants into Malaysia
The DAP welcomes the announcement by the Acting Prime Minister, Datuk Musa Hitam, yesterday that the Task Force VII, set up to deal with the Vietnamese boat people, would be removed to deal with the all illegal immigrants, including the illegal Indonesian immigrants.
This is the first concrete action taken by the government so far to deal with the grave problem of the illegal Indonesian immigrants in the country, who are causing an increase of crimes threatening law and order, but also pose a grave short-term, medium and long-term threat to the political, economic and social stability of the country as well as to the entire Malaysian nation-building process.
The problem of illegal Indonesian immigrants was one of the issues I raised with Datuk Musa when I met him in Kuala Lumpur on August 29, and I hope that the revamping of Task Force VII to include illegal Indonesian immigrants and other illegal foreign nationals would be followed up with firm action and results to free Malaysia from these illegal immigrants.
It is very clear that the million illegal immigrants in Malaysia could not operate so freely in the country if there is no big syndicates of Malaysians aiding, harbouring and even ‘patronising’ them.
The extension of the scope of activities of Task Force VII to include all illegal immigrants by I self would be not solve the problem of illegal Indonesians immigrants, unless the new legislative powers are adopted by Parliament to make it a custodial offence for any Malaysians to aid, harbor or give employment to illegal Indonesian immigrants.
If the Government would introduce such laws in the Parliamentary meeting next month, DAP MPs would give it the fullest support.
As the problem of illegal Indonesian immigrants and other foreign illegals is a national problem, affecting Malaysians of all races, I call on the Acting Prime Minister to set up a all-party advisory council to the Task Force VII which will help mobilize public support in the national campaign to rid Malaysia of the illegal Indonesians immigrants and other illegal foreign nationals.
The Dept y Home Affairs Minister, Radzi Sheikh Ahmad, in reply to my question in Parliament in July, said that out of the 11,715 illegal immigrants arrested last year, 7,330 were Indonesians. This is a ridiculous figure, which does not come up to even one per cent of total number of illegal Indonesian immigrants in Malaysia, let alone of all illegal immigrants!
The question is how the Task Force and the government could deport at least 200,000 illegal immigrants this year, when it could deport only 11,715 last year?
The DAP has formed a National Committee on illegal Indonesian immigrants, Filipino refugees and other illegal foreign nationals under the chairmanship of the DAP National Assistant Organising Secretary, Hu Sepang, which is prepared to co-operate fully with the Task Force and the government to rid Malaysia of the presence of illegal foreign immigrants.