PETALING JAYA: DAP’s Ong Kian Ming has called for a thorough investigation into the “veracity” of the reports of abuse, torture and mistreatment of migrant workers being held in Malaysian detention centres for visa violations.
Ong, referring to an article published in Nepal’s My Republica which FMT carried yesterday, said he found the allegations of the migrant workers highly disturbing.
“This is not the first time that the mistreatment of foreigners in detention camps has been reported.
“In a highly watched documentary on Al-Jazeera called 101 East that was broadcast last year, mistreatment of foreigners in detention camps in Malaysia was shown around the world,” Ong told FMT.
Ong added that these incidences were not only a “gross abuse of human rights” but also brought Malaysia’s global image into “disrepute.”
Last November, Ong highlighted the 101 East documentary entitled, Malaysia’s Unwanted, which he described as a shocking story about the mistreatment of refugees in Malaysia.
Addressing the issue in the Dewan Rakyat, Ong said he got even more disappointed when Deputy Home Minister Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar offered a feeble answer to his question.
“The replies of the Deputy Minister of Home Affairs Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar in Parliament … showed that he is not aware of the seriousness of the accusations revealed in an Al Jazeera programme even though he was interviewed in the programme,” said the Serdang MP.
“In particular, his replies show that he is totally ignorant of the articles of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) of which Malaysia is a signatory.”
Last Friday, My Republica of Nepal reported that at least five Nepali migrant workers were forced to strip naked, tortured and starved in Malaysia prior to being sent back to Nepal.
One even claimed that some of the personnel in the detention centre subjected detainees to humiliation just for their “entertainment.”
Nepali Foreign Minister Mahendra Bahadur Pandey reportedly said, “We have asked our embassy in Malaysia to dig out the truth. We are going to investigate the matter thoroughly.”
The Embassy of Nepal in Malaysia could not be reached for a comment by FMT despite numerous attempts to do so.