Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung. Lim Kit Siang, at the Si-Rusa DAP Branch Thousand-People Anniversary Dinner held at Port Dickson on Tuesday, 15.9.1987 at 9 p.m.
Call on Labour Minister, Datuk Lee Kim Sai, to introduce urgent legislation in next month’s Parliament to make in an offence for anyone to employ illegal Indonesian immigrants, and to make such employer bear all the costs of repatriating illegal Indonesian immigrants
Deputy Home Minister, Datuk Megat Junid Megat Ayob, said in the press today that the police are “quietly monitoring” the various landing points used by illegal immigrants in preparation for a “strike” against them. Datuk Megat said the police knew about the landings but were “keeping quiet because we want our operations to be successful.
The Deputy Home Minister was responding to local press reports in the past few days identifying the dozen or more places along the Negri Sembilan and Malacca coasts which have been used as landing points for illegal Indonesian immigrants to cross the Straits of Malacca from Sumatra and enter Malaysia.
I fully agree that the police knew about the landing points for illegal Indonesian immigrants along the coasts of Negri Sembilan, Malacca and Johore as well, as it is no secret, either to the people in the areas affected, or to those who are interested in finding out.
The police must be atrociously incompetent and ignorant if they do not know about these landing points, or the presence of illegal Indonesian immigrants in our country. About two years ago, an illegal Indonesian immigrant died in the Port Dickson area, and some three thousand illegal Indonesian immigrants in the surrounding estates came out for the funeral. This was reported in the local press, and the police could not be unaware of it.
But Datuk Megat is stretching credibility when he claims that the police are “quietly monitoring” the various landing points in preparation for a “strike” against the illegal Indonesian immigrants. If the police were serious about containing and checking the influx of illegal Indonesian immigrants, they would have ‘struck’ at these landing points for the past 10 years, and ensured that there would be no landing points for the illegal Indonesian immigrants.
For over a decade, the Barisan Nasional Government’s attitude to the problem of illegal Indonesian immigrants is one of ‘benign neglect’. Sometimes, top leaders all the way up to a Deputy Prime Minister would make fierce noises about the need to repatriate every illegal immigrant, but at ground level, the authorities would close their eyes to the influx of illegal Indonesian immigrants.
As a result, we have reached a situation where the illegal immigrants, whether illegal Indonesians or illegal Filipinos, have totaled some one million people – and there has even been estimate that the total could be as high as 1 ½ million!
Last year, a Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia lecturer estimated that the 1.5 milion illegal immigrant workers in Malaysia send back to their country anout $2 billion a year.
Illegal immigrants pose a grave threat to the security, stability, harmony and nation-building in Malaysia, for the adverse effects of the presence of over a million illegal immigrants in Malaysia embraces political, economic, educational, law and order and social aspects.
The influx of illegal Indonesian immigrants may worsen the unemployment problem and push it to the million-mark in 1990
It is a condemnation of the gofernment’s economic policy that while unemployment in Malaysia has reached the most serious level in the nation’s history, with some 600,000 unemployed, there are over a million illegal immigrants in the country displacing job opportunities which should be taken up by local people.
If the influx of illegal Indonesian immigrants is allowed unchecked, it could worsen the unemployment problem in Malaysia, and may even push the unemployment figure in Malaysia to the million-mark in 1990!
The DAP calls on the Labour Minister, Datuk Lee Kim Sai, to introduce urgent legislation in next month’s Parliament, to make it an offence for anyone to employ illegal immigrants, and to make such employer bear all costs of repatriating illegal immigrants to their countries.
This would be the most effective way to wipe out the problem of illegal immigrants in Malaysia, for if there is no guaranteed employment, the illegal immigrants would have no incentive to come over in their hundreds of thousand to Malaysia.
I doubt however that Datuk Lee Kim Sai would want to introduce such a legislation to effectively wipe out the problem of illegal Indonesian immigrants in the country, for MCA leaders are among the main employers of illegal- Indonesian immigrants.
I challenge Datuk Lee Kim Sai to declare his stand on whether he dare and is prepared to introduce urgent legislation in next month’s Parliament to make it an offence for anyone to employ illegal Indonesian immigrants, and to make such employer bear all the costs of repatriating the illegal immigrants in their employment back to their own countries.
UEM’s application to set aside injunction to stop signing of North-South Highway contract will be heard before Justice V.C George on Monday
The 100% increase in toll rate for the completed sections of North-South Highway, in particular Kuala Lumpur/Seremban stretch, was to begin today. As a result of growing and spreading nation-wide protests against the government’s highway toll policy, there has been a second deferment of the toll rate increase.
As the toll for the North-South Highway will bind Malaysians for 30 years, I call on the Government to give the people the fullest opportunity to express their views before the government decides on its highway toll policy, especially with regard to the number of years the toll should be imposed and the rate of the toll.
I have just been informed that the United Engineers Malaysia’s application to set aside the injunction to stop the signing of the North-South Highway contract will be heard before Justice V.C. George on Monday, 21.9.1987.
Whatever the outcome of the court case on the UEM contract for the North-South Highway, the government must fully respect the wishes of the people on an issue which is going to have such far-reaching consequences on the people’s livelihood for 30 years.