PETALING JAYA: Civil society group Tenaganita this evening questioned the raid on migrants at the different areas of Selayang saying the detention of migrants over an “administrative offence” would do more harm than good.
Tenaganita executive director Glorene A Das said detention or holding centres are confined quarters, and the constant cycle of people entering and leaving a centre would create “a perfect hotbed for spreading the virus to and from communities”.
“Making matters worse, it is well documented that our detention centres struggle to provide adequate healthcare to detainees. Their healthcare systems are not equipped to confront or control a coronavirus pandemic,” she said in a statement.
Earlier today it was reported that the Immigration Department conducted a raid to check on foreigners in the area surrounding the Kuala Lumpur wholesale market at Selayang.
It is believed that those nabbed were illegal immigrants who were brought to a temporary detention depot.
Glorene described the raid as heartbreaking and questioned why the authorities continued to penalise and criminalise these communities who have the least in society.
She also wondered how social distancing can be implemented in such venues and who would be implementing as well as monitoring that such practices are put in place.
Glorene said the public health measures and social distancing rules intended to contain Covid-19 were “absolutely irreconcilable” with the reality of detention and imprisonment, as evidenced in Italy and other countries, during which several inmates died.
“These sad events must draw close attention to the Malaysian government and public attention on the application of anti-contagion regulations in overcrowded prisons, where a possible bigger outburst of the virus would be catastrophic.”
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