Govt, Opposition slammed for neglecting human trafficking

TenaganitaPETALING JAYA: Tenaganita’s Aegile Fernandez has taken the Government and the Opposition to task for failing to make human trafficking a priority.

The NGO’s co-director claimed that based on the latest Trafficking in Persons (TIP) report, both the Government and the Opposition seemed to be turning “a blind eye and a deaf ear” to what was happening despite a rise in child abuse cases.

Malaysia remains at Tier 2 – countries which are making efforts to tackle human trafficking – which Fernandez said came as no surprise.

“Malaysians must rise up and ask why both the ruling Government and Opposition are not taking heed of human trafficking,” she said at a press conference.

Failing to push the Government and the Opposition to get their act together, Fernandez warned, could see Malaysia downgraded to Tier 3, which could lead to sanctions being imposed on the country.

Fernandez said Tenaganita was puzzled that the uproar over the discoveries of mass graves in Perlis had suddenly gone quiet.

“Maybe this is the Malaysian style of getting excited one time when a tragedy happens, and then we keep quiet about it. I think we need to bring this issue out.”

She lamented that despite the arrest of 12 officers connected to the mass grave discovery, there had been no follow up.

“Nobody talks about them anymore. Are they guilty? Not guilty? Is it a cover up? Nothing.”

In May last year, the local police stumbled on graves with 106 skeletal remains, believed to be those of Rohingya. They found 139 graves and 28 human trafficking camps in Wang Kelian, Perlis.

The discovery led to the arrests of 12 policemen allegedly linked to human smugglers at the Malaysia-Thailand border. Four were arrested by the police, while the other eight were arrested by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission on May 28 last year.