Immigration crackdown under the current economic situation and amid the Covid-19 pandemic would be best handled professionally and humanitarianly

I refer to an article in a foreign news portal, The Irrawaddy, which published the story of how six undocumented Burmese workers had committed suicide in Malaysia after they lost their jobs during the various phases of the Movement Control Order (https://www.irrawaddy.com/news/burma/without-work-fearing-arrest-undocumented-myanmar-migrants-malaysia-take-lives.html).

Whether this is true or not, such a news report has certainly created bad publicity for Malaysia. The Malaysian government is, therefore, obliged to look into the report and take the necessary actions; and, if the report is not true, the government has to present the facts of the matter.

Since the article quoted a Myanmar Embassy official and a migrant rights group, I strongly urge the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to try to obtain more information about these suicide cases; at the same time, see how the thousands of other undocumented migrants from Myanmar and other countries can be given amnesty in order for them to find a safe passage home.

Immigration crackdown under the current economic situation and amid the Covid-19 pandemic would be best handled professionally and humanitarianly, as this involves the lives of our fellow human beings, regardless of their background or immigration status. They may be illegal migrants but most of them would not have entered Malaysia if not for the sake of looking for job opportunities.

Lim Lip Eng
MP FOR KEPONG
Media statement by Lim Lip Eng in Kuala Lumpur on Saturday, 20th June 2020