Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary- General and MP for Kota Melaka, Lim Kit Siang, at the meeting of the DAP National Committee on Illegal Indonesian Immigrants, Filipino Refugees and other illegal foreigners held at DAP PJ headquarters on Tuesday, Sept 24 1985 at 8 pm
DAP calls for a reward scheme for Malaysians who report presence of illegal Indonesian immigrants to the authorities
Since the announcement by the Deputy prime Minister and Minister for Home Affairs, Datuk Musa Hitam, ten days ago that the government would expand the scope of Task Force VII set up to deal with the Vietnamese boat people to include all illegal immigrants, the people have still to hear about other details of the government’s plan to rid Malaysia of illegal immigrants, in particular the illegal Indonesian immigrants who could number one million in Malaysia.
The expansion of the scope of the Task Force VII to include all illegal immigrants would not by itself solve the grove problem of illegal Indonesian immigrants, unless this is accompanied by a comprehensive plan to break the back of this problem.
The first step the government must take is to stop the unrestrained influx of illegal Indonesian immigrants into the country. I agree that this is not a easy problem, with Malaysians long coast—line. However, it is clearly impossible for such large number of illegal Indonesian immigrants to enter and stay in the country without a large number of Malaysia helping them, probably making money out of such anti-national activity.
One effective way to curb the influx of illegal Indonesian immigrants is to severely punish any Malaysian who assist or harbour or employ illegal Indonesian immigrant into the country, and to make such punishment severe enough, it should be an offence punishable with jail sentence only.
I believe that if Malaysians do not help the illegal Indonesian immigrants, the problem of new entry would have been solved by half.
The second step is to identify and repatriate the illegal Indonesian immigrants already in the country. It is most shocking that up till now, the government does not have any statistics whatsoever about the number of illegal Indonesian immigrants in the country.
If the campaign to rid Malaysia of the illegal Indonesian immigrants is to succeed, the government must get the full support and co—operation of the Malaysian public. The government could easily ‘jet this public co—operation if it demonstrates its sincerity and political will to rid Malaysia of the illegal immigrants. A further measure which the government could do is to announce a reward scheme for Malaysians who report the presence of illegal Indonesian immigrants to the authorities.
As a third step, the government should announce areas infested with illegal Indonesian immigrants as’ black areas’, which will give the government and the public the challenge and the target to convert such ‘black areas’ into ‘white areas’ by ridding it of ille4al Indonesian immigrants.
I know there are racialists who want the illegal Indonesian immigrants to be left alone, so that eventually they could be part of the Malaysian population. This is a short—sighted thinking which must not be allowed any place in Malaysia.
The problem of illegal Indonesian immigrants is not just a problem of any one racial group in Malaysia, but for all racial groups. When the illegal Indonesian immigrants strike in their criminal activities, they do not differentiate on grounds of race. This is why Malays, Chinese and Indians all support firm government measure to resolve the problem of illegal Indonesian immigrants.