Sunday, December 14, 2008

Letter from TF-AMW to ASEAN

Task Force on ASEAN Migrant Workers

November 25, 2008

H.E. Surin Pitsuwan
Secretary-General, ASEAN
ASEAN Secretariat
Jakarta, Indonesia

RE: Development of Engagement Mechanism between ASEAN Committee for Migrant Workers (ACMW) and the Task Force on ASEAN Migrant Workers (TF-AMW)

Dear Secretary-General Surin,

This statement reflects the views of the participants of a regional consultation of key stakeholders convened by the Task Force on ASEAN Migrant Workers (TF-AMW) on November 24-25, 2008, to discuss the rights of migrant workers under the ASEAN Declaration on the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Migrant Workers. At the outset, we commend ASEAN for following through to ensure the timely establishment of the ACMW, which held its first meeting in Singapore in September 2008. We take this as a clear indication of ASEAN’s commitment to implement an Instrument (as called for by the above-mentioned ASEAN Declaration) which will effectively protect migrant workers who are among ASEAN’s most vulnerable groups.

The TF-AMW kindly requests your assistance in supporting the development of a system of substantive participation and engagement to be set up between the newly established ACMW and the TF-AMW. The TF-AMW serves as the platform for ASEAN civil society groups working for the implementation of the ASEAN Declaration on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Migrant Workers. We believe that this action would be in line with your vision for a “sharing, caring” ASEAN where citizens’ participation is both sought and respected. It is our view that the way this request for greater participation by civil society organizations is handled by ASEAN will be an important indicator of the level of collaboration that a “New ASEAN” plans to extend to its citizens and their grass-roots organizations in the future.

As you already know, the TF-AMW is hard at work developing a civil society version of the Instrument on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Migrants Workers. The TF-AMW has so far held seven national consultations (Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam) to channel the voice of national civil society organizations into our process. The recommendations resulting from those consultations have informed our work on the Instrument, and we have just completed our intensive review and revision of the 3rd draft of that Instrument. When completed, we intend to submit the final version of ASEAN civil society’s Instrument to both you and to the Senior Labor Officials Meeting (SLOM) at its upcoming meeting in Bangkok in 2009.
The civil society Framework Instrument is guided by four central principles. First, it will include and cover all migrant workers in ASEAN. Second, it will recognize that migration benefits both sending and receiving countries. Third, it will follow the principles of non-discrimination in treatment provided to migrant workers and their families. Finally, given the predominance of women who are migrating for work, it will ensure that migration policies and practices are formulated with attention to gender concerns.

There are four sections in our draft Instrument focusing as follows:

“Obligations of Labour Receiving Countries.”
From the outset, a key recommendation include ensuring that migrant workers are treated in accordance with the core labour standards of the ILO. The Instrument calls for according “national treatment” to migrant workers in terms of wages and conditions of work, and instituting standard contracts for hiring migrant workers throughout the region. The Instrument reaffirms migrant workers’ rights to hold their own passports and worker identification and calls for strong penalties against employers and others who seize these documents. Furthermore, the Instrument seeks special attention to the challenges faced by particularly vulnerable migrant domestic workers. Other areas where action is sought include ensuring provision of health care for migrant workers and their families, guaranteeing safe and hygienic accommodation and living conditions, making certain there are effective systems of inspection, and providing migrant workers with effective access to legal systems and justice.

“Obligations of Labour Sending Countries.”
These are understood to include effective pre-departure training systems and programs. Efforts should also be focused on vocational training and capacity building, especially for the CLMV countries. These elements are part of a larger set of requirements related to deployment of effective systems to regulate migrant workers’ departure to work in another country as well as their return and reintegration to their origin country. The Instrument also urges Governments to institute effective accreditation and regulation processes to oversee labour recruitment agencies in order to prevent abuses. Another area for action is to ensure systems of protection for migrant workers, through deployment and pro-active efforts of committed labour attachés or other staff at sending country Embassies in labour receiving countries.

“Joint Obligations of Labour Sending and Labour Receiving States.”
Among the areas where action is recommended is effective regulation of labour recruitment agencies; institution of practical and effective grievance systems that can be used by migrant workers; development of schemes to facilitate the migration of skilled labourers and recognition of their skills; effective suppression of human trafficking; and setting up easy-to-access systems to facilitate transfer of workers’ remittances and creation of safe institutions where migrant workers can save their money. Finally, and importantly, the section calls for member states to harmonize their national labour laws with international labour standards.

“Commitments by ASEAN.”
This section discusses administrative requirements, such as reporting and encourages participatory systems that include ASEAN civil society, both at the national and regional level. The Instrument also explores some of the possibilities for future ASEAN systems to protect migrant workers (such as an ASEAN worker ID, hotline, portable insurance). Concerning the forthcoming ASEAN Human Rights Body, the Instrument recommends the creation of an AHRB Subcommittee on the Rights of Migrant Workers. The Instrument lays out systems that could be further developed by ASEAN to manage the responsibility (set out in the ASEAN Declaration on Migrant Workers) for mutual cooperation among ASEAN countries in assisting migration workers from ASEAN when they are toiling in countries that are outside ASEAN.

Obviously, this is just a short summary of civil society’s Instrument on the Protection and Promotion of Migrant Workers, which now stretches to 35 pages and 171 articles. We look forward to continue the dialogue with you and your staff in the future on the specifics of the system of protection for migrant workers that the TF-AMW and its component regional and national networks of NGOs, trade unions, and other stakeholders desire.

Finally, since many of these issues are central to the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Blueprint which will be approved by the ASEAN Summit in December, we have taken the liberty of sharing this letter with the delegates of the ASEAN Social Forum meeting in Manila on November 27-28, 2008.

I look forward to discussing these issues with you and your staff in the near future.

With best wishes,

Sinapan Samydorai
Task Force on ASEAN Migrant Workers

Chair, ASEAN Social Forum – Nov. 27-28 meeting
All Focal Points, ASEAN Committee on Migrant Workers (ACMW)
ASEAN Department, Ministries of Foreign Affairs, ASEAN Member States

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Reason for immediate abolition of RELA

RELA raid - 1 Dead...1 seriously injured. Abolish RELA.

RELA raid...and another death. It was a raid by apparently just the RELA...(the 'volunteer vigilante corp'). Where were the professional law enforcers - the Police, the Immigration Enforcement Officers during this raid?
"The operation at Jalan Changkat 19/1, involving eight Rela officers, was conducted after Rela received reports of illegal immigrants staying in the unit...."
This is NOT the FIRST time that deaths have allegedly resulted during RELA raids.

I hope that the police immediately commence criminal investigations (or SUHAKAM does an immediate inquiry) to find out what really happened. To determine whether the death was a mere accident or not. Are there any RELA member who are criminally (or otherwise) responsible for the death? Was the death caused by the absence (or lack) of professional training when the raid was conducted?

The undocumented migrant would generally face arrest, detention and deportation. Worse case scenario some WHIPPING..and a jail term...but this is not so bad for a person to 'jump to his death' for, is it. Was he pushed?

Investigation must be done NOW - and must involved also them who have been detained as allegedly being 'undocumented workers', before they are all deported...and the truth covered-up. We really should have PROCEDURES to immediately conduct independent inquiries into these kind of cases - within a month, when the memory is still fresh.

SHAH ALAM: A Rela raid ended in tragedy when an Indonesian illegal immigrant was killed and another seriously injured when they fell from a flat in Section 19 here yesterday.

Shah Alam police chief Assistant Commissioner Nor Azam Jamaluddin said a Rela officer lodged a police report after the 1.30am raid.

He said the Indonesian died an hour after he was discovered by Rela officers.

The injured man was being treated at Tengku Ampuan Rahimah Hospital in Klang.

Selangor Rela director Khairi Mohd Alwee said both men were believed to be hiding when Rela officers raided the fourth floor flat and detained six illegal immigrants, including two women.

Khairi said they were later found in a pool of blood on the ground floor.

He said Rela requested the help of paramedics from Civil Defence Department but one of them died.

"The operation at Jalan Changkat 19/1, involving eight Rela officers, was conducted after Rela received reports of illegal immigrants staying in the unit.

"In light of this incident, I hope all illegal immigrants surrender to the authorities during such operations.

"They should not endanger themselves by trying to flee.

"Illegals would be treated fairly by the authorities after detention."

Apart from the operation in Section 19, Rela Selangor, with the help of the Immigration Department, also conducted similar operations around Puchong and Damansara.

A total of 103 illegal immigrants were detained. - New Straits Times, 27/11/2008 - Illegal dies during raid
I wonder whether the RELA members are still being paid for each and every 'undocumented' migrant they arrest....

Migrants are human beings and should not be treated as stray dogs, and the policy and practice of paying members of the People’s Volunteer Corps (RELA) RM80-00 for each undocumented migrant must be stopped). Now RELA is also asking for allowance of RM24.20 for lower ranking members and RM34.20 for officers given to those participating in trainings and courses could be extended for operations (Star, RELA seeks allowance for staff during ops).

Syed Shahir, President MTUC during his opening speech at the MTUC/ILO Follow up Workshop on Migrant Workers in Malaysia held on 4-6 December 2006 said that this practice of using these “uniformed part-timers who have some policing powers, who were offered and did receive cash rewards for each migrant arrested as an economic incentive and this was most disturbing and embarrassing.” He also went on to say that it was sad that Home Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Radzi Sheikh Ahmad was reported to have said RELA members would be again roped in for the planned crackdown on undocumented workers in 2007(Star, 14/10/2006).

MCA Public Services and Complaints Department head Datuk Michael Chong claimed that the reward offered had made RELA volunteers desperate to nab as many illegals as possible. He said this when handing over RM,2,400-00, being donations, collected by residents of Old Klang Road’s 4th mile area, to the widows, both of whom had two young children. Their husbands, Ahmad Apik, 35, and Edy Sathurrohman, 26, both Indonesians, drowned allegedly after jumping into the Klang river while trying to evade the RELA personnel. Let’s not forget the words of Michael Chong :” “These people may be illegals [undocumented], but they are still human beings,” ). A wife loses her husband and 2 children lost their fathers, and RM1,200-00 in donations is a far cry from justice. - RELA’S “CATCH A MIGRANT AND GET PAID FOR IT” POLICY MUST END

Recall also the Malaysian Bar Resolution in 2007 calling for the abolition of RELA..



1. On 31st August 2007, it will be 50 years since Malaysia achieved its independence and has been for over 30 years been a peaceful democratic nation.

2. It is sad that Malaysia is still in a state of Emergency as there exist today 4 Proclamation of Emergencies issued by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong that is yet to be revoked.

3. Since independence, five states of emergency have been declared under Article 150 of the Federal Constitution. The first was the only one to have been revoked. The remaining four are still in operation. The second state of emergency was proclaimed in September 1964 when the country was faced with a campaign of violence from Indonesia. Although the threat ceased within less than two years, the state of emergency was never revoked.

4. The next state of emergency was declared on 14 September 1966 following the dismissal of the Chief Minister of the state of Sarawak. No violence - or threat of violence - resulted from the crisis. The government nevertheless proclaimed an emergency, confined to Sarawak. And although the crisis was soon resolved, the state of emergency has not been revoked.

5. The fourth proclamation came on 15 May 1969 following large-scale rioting and racial violence in the capital, Kuala Lumpur, during a general election. The violence led to several hundred casualties. As a result, further elections were postponed and parts of the Constitution suspended. Normalcy was restored soon - the legislature was reconvened and normal constitutional government restored in February 1971. However, the state of emergency has yet to be revoked.

6. On 8 November 1977, the fifth Emergency, limited to the state of Kelantan, was declared following a political crisis.

7. By reason of the proclamation of emergency, numerous legislations were enacted and are still in force, including also :-

a) Emergency (Essential Powers) Act, 1964 (30/64), today known as the Emergency (Essential Powers) Act 1979;

b) Emergency (Public Order and Prevention of Crime) Ordinance 1969;

c) Essential (Security Cases) Regulations 1975

8. For example, Section 6 of the Emergency (Essential Powers) Act 1979, states that “"For so long as the Proclamation of Emergency referred to in the preamble to this Act remains in force, the regulations made under the Emergency (Essential Powers) Act, 1964 (30/64) (except those regulations which the Yang di-Pertuan Agong may by notification in the Gazette declare not to be in force) shall be in force and shall have effect as if they have been made under this Act; and the regulations may be amended, modified or repealed as if they have been made under this Act.". [The proclamation of emergency referred to in this Act was the proclamation issued on 15 May 1969.]

9. The Ikatan Relawan Rakyat or better known as RELA (a People's Volunteer Corps) came into being by virtue of Essential (Ikatan RELAwan Rakyat) Regulations 1966 [P.U. 33/1966], under Emergency (Essential Powers) Act, 1964 (30/64), and continue to be in force by virtue of Section 6 of the Emergency (Essential Powers) Act 1979.

10. By virtue of the Essential (Ikatan RELAwan Rakyat) (Amendment) Regulations 2005, which came into operation on 1 February 2005, the powers of the Rela, have been dangerously over-extended giving RELA personnel the right to bear and use firearms, stop, search and demand documents, arrest without a warrant, and enter premises without a warrant. and all these powers can be exercised the RELA personnel has reasonable belief that any person is a terrorist, undesirable person, illegal immigrant or an occupier. Illegal immigrant and occupier (which would be Malaysians usually) was added on by this 2005 amendment.

11. These not-professionally trained volunteers has also now been accorded protection by the new amendments whereby it is stated that "…The Public Authorities Protection Act 1948 shall apply to any action, suit, prosecution or proceedings against the Ketua Pengarah Ikatan RELAwan Rakyat, Timbalan Ketua Pengarah Ikatan RELAwan Rakyat or any member of the Ikatan RELAwan Rakyat in respect of any act, neglect or default done or committed by him in good faith or any omission omitted by him in good faith, in such capacity."

12. Noting also that there has been numerous complaints that have surfaced in the media about the RELA not just from migrants but also Malaysians ranging from torture, gangster-like behavior, damage to property, wrongful arrest and detention and even the causing of deaths.

13. Its was reported that RELA arrested a total of 17,700 people believed
to be illegal immigrants and screened 94,010 people up to September
2006, and that means 94,010 people (or 76,310) with proper documentations were subjected to unnecessary harassment and their right to a remedy in law is difficult. Of the people arrested, recent reports in the media indicate that many may even not be “illegal” or “undocumented” migrants at all.

* “…six foreign workers, all with legal travel and work documents, were whisked out of their quarters in a resort in Cherating in the wee hours of the morning on Dec 28 last year when RELA members "literally broke into their chalet and ordered them out." (The Star, January 12, 2007).”

* “…a team of 30 to 40 RELA members (half not in uniforms) turned up to look for foreign workers, assaulted some and allegedly stole cash and valuables during the raid. The companies, who lodged police reports, said that all the workers had legal work permits…..”(The Star, December 4, 2006) ·

* “22 workers of an IT company were beaten and made to do a 50m "duck-walk" at Section 30 in Shah Alam…” (The Star, February 16, 2006)

* Residents of about 10 households in Taman Anggerik, Cheras, Kuala Lumpur, complained that RELA personnel crashed into their homes after breaking door locks and smashing gates, and told them that they [RELA] were looking for illegal workers. The residents said the RELA personnel acted like gangsters and showed them no respect. When they asked the RELA personnel to explain why they crashed into their homes, they were told "we are the law." Cash totaling RM3,756 in a drawer was subsequently found missing. (The Star, October 17, 2006)

14. There have also been report of beatings and even deaths caused by RELA volunteers. As an example, in early 2006 it was reported that Ahmad Apik, 35, and Edy Sathurrohman, 26, both Indonesians, lost their lives, and they each left behind a wife and 2 young children. (Star, January 23, 2006).

15. The policy and practice of paying members of the People's Volunteer Corps (RELA) RM80-00 for each undocumented migrant must be stopped (The Star, January 23, 2006). Even MCA Public Services and Complaints Department head Datuk Michael Chong claimed that the reward offered had made RELA volunteers desperate to nab as many illegals as possible. (The Star January 23, 2006)

15. Malaysia is a developed country and professionally trained enforcement personnel should be used for law enforcement, and the use of volunteers like the RELA must end.

16. Some migrants may be undocumented, but they are still human beings and deserved to be treated humanely and should be accorded equal protection under the law.

17. Malaysia, a party to the April 1999 BANGKOK DECLARATION ON IRREGULAR MIGRATION, which clearly states “Irregular [undocumented] migrants should be granted humanitarian treatment, including appropriate health and other services, while the cases of irregular migration are being handled, according to law. Any unfair treatment toward them should be avoided” must adhere to its commitments.

18. New laws can always be enacted by a parliament in times of peace if needed.


a) That we, the Malaysian Bar, call upon the Yang Di-Pertuan Agung to revoke all existing Proclamations of Emergency in Malaysia;

b) That we, the Malaysian Bar call for the repeal all legislations and Acts that were enacted and continue to be in force by reason of the now existing unrevoked Proclamations of Emergency;

c) That we, the Malaysian Bar reiterate our call for the repeal of Emergency (Public Order and Prevention of Crime) Ordinance 1969 and the Essential (Security Cases) Regulations 1975;

d) That we, the Malaysian Bar specifically call for the repeal of the Emergency (Essential Powers) Act 1979 and all Regulations and Rules made thereunder, in particular Essential (Ikatan RELAwan Rakyat) Regulations 1966 [P.U. 33/1966], as amended by the Essential (Ikatan RELAwan Rakyat) (Amendment) Regulations 2005;

e) That we, the Malaysian Bar call for the employment and usage of only properly trained professional law enforcement personnel in Malaysia;

f) That we, the Malaysian Bar urge that inquests be conducted for Ahmad Apik, Edy Sathurrohman and for the other persons who have died as result of alleged RELA actions;

g) That we, the Malaysian Bar urge that all persons including undocumented migrants and/or refugees be treated humanely and accorded equal protection of the law;

h) That we, the Malaysian Bar call on the Malaysian government to immediately ratify the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families;

i) That we, the Malaysian Bar call on the Malaysian government to immediately ratify the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment

Proposers: Charles Hector & Francis Pereira, Motion dated 18th February 2007.The motion was unanimously carried at the 61st Annual General Meeting of the Malaysian Bar held at the Grand Ballroom, Legend Hotel, Kuala Lumpur - 17 March 2007

Source:- RELA man outraged woman's modesty - Abolish RELA now

The Malaysian Government must employ more full-time professionally trained Immigration Enforcement Officers, and Police - and stop using this volunteer corp...

RESPECT human life and human persons - and abide by the commitments made by Malaysia in the 1999 BANGKOK DECLARATION ON IRREGULAR MIGRATION, which clearly states “Irregular [undocumented] migrants should be granted humanitarian treatment, including appropriate health and other services, while the cases of irregular migration are being handled, according to law. Any unfair treatment toward them should be avoided”

Note also that this incident occurred in Selangor - a Pakatan Rakyat governed state, and I say again that Pakatan Rakyat must EXPRESS clearly its position and stance with regard to RELA....and also Migrants and Refugees in Pakatan Rakyat governed states.

Is this sufficient JUSTICE for Nirmala Bonat?

Criminal Court should have ordered compensation for the victim, Nirmala Bonat?

Migrant Domestic Worker Nirmala Bonat was allegedly abused and assaulted by her employer in 2004 - and finally in November 2008, this criminal trial comes to an end, and '...Homemaker Yim Pek Ha was found guilty today of grievously hurting domestic helper Nirmala Bonat, and was sentenced to 18 years in jail...'
It made headlines in Malaysia, with photographs of her severe injuries splashed on the front pages of newspapers when her plight was revealed in 2004.- Malaysiakini, 27/11/2008 - Maid abuse: Housewife gets 18 years
But the Nirmala Bonat's case is the exception .... not the norm. Many a time when the migrant worker is the victim, the perpetrators get off scott free because most will not be able to linger around in Malaysia waiting for the trial (or have the capacity to travel up and down for the trial).

Remember, in Malaysia, the victimized migrant worker, is not given the opportunity to work and earn an income while they wait for their cases to be heard...

Happily after the Nirmala Bonat's expose....the Malaysian authorities came out and asked other victims of abuse to step forward and complain about abusive employers...(But note that you will not be able to work with another employer until the case is over...and this is SO WRONG...)

Migrant Worker victims cannot be expected to just 'hang around' without new employment with a new employer...while the criminal case proceeds.

Could some Member of Parliament ask the question as to how many cases involving migrant worker victims have been completed? How many cases do the prosecution pay for foreign victims to come back to Malaysia to give evidence in the trial? How much money has been expended bringing these foreign victims back to Malaysia for the trial to give evidence?

Homemaker Yim Pek Ha was found guilty today of grievously hurting domestic helper Nirmala Bonat, and was sentenced to 18 years in jail.


Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court judge Akhtar Tahir found Yim, 40, guilty on three counts of hurting Nirmala. An additional count of causing hurt was however not proven.

He sentenced her to 18 years' jail on each of the three charges but ordered the sentences to run concurrently.

abused indonesian maid nirmala bonat 170108 yim pek haAkhtar said Yim (left) had committed sadistic behaviour that cannot be tolerated in a civil society.

She had pressed a hot iron on Bonat's back and breasts, and pouring hot water on her legs as punishment for not doing the chores properly.

Yim was cleared of a fourth charge of breaking the maid's nose.

"I agree with the prosecution that you have not shown remorse and have been in a state of denial throughout the case," he said, noting that the court has to give weight to the public interest in passing sentence.

In his judgment, Akhtar said there were suggestions the injury could have been the result of Nirmala suffering bouts of gila kambing (epilepsy).

abused indonesian maid nirmala bonat then and now 170108"Fermima Anunut, the employer of Nirmala's cousin, had testified that she (Nirmala) has the condition. However, Nirmala's mother, when testifying, had denied this.

“The electrocardiogram test and examinations performed by doctors also proved that Nirmala does not suffer from the ailment.”

Akhtar said it was illogical for Nirmala to have suffered a seizure while in her room, and that she had injured herself.

"Furthermore, the court cannot accept how Fermima would have known that Nirmala had suffered seizures when Fermima herself was in Ipoh, working," he said.

Akhtar hence ruled that the injuries suffered by Nirmala were not self-inflicted.

The judge said evidence also showed that Yim was capable of such actions as she had testified to having slapped Nirmala in the past.

"From the statements of the accused while on the witness stand, she blamed the maid for this and that. I could still see Yim's underlying anger even after three years. So it would not surprise me if she had caused the injuries. She also admitted that she had slapped the victim.

"Nirmala Bonat has been consistent in her statements that her lady boss injured her, in her testimony in court and from the time she was found by a security guard.

“The security guard had also given consistent evidence to say the female boss had done this to her. My finding of fact is that the injuries were not self-inflicted."

abused indonesian maid nirmala bonat 210504Akhtar said the court was also satisfied with the prosecution's decision to classify the case under ‘grievous hurt’, as Nirmala testified that she had not taken a bath for 20 days after suffering injuries.

"If a person cannot take a bath for 20 days, it shows the extent of pain from the injuries. Hence, the prosecution was right in classifying the cases as grievous hurt," he said.

In finding that the prosecution has proven its case beyond reasonable doubt, the judge pronounced Yim’s guilt.

Yim was seen crying and later hugging her husband Hii Ik Ting, 42, her children and relatives.

A former air stewardess and a mother of four, Yim was sentenced after Akhtar heard mitigation from her lawyers.

Counsel Jagjit Singh who was assisted by counsel Akbardin Abdul Kader told the court he could not submit that his client was remorseful.

“A staunch Christian, she still believes she is innocent and I too feel the same way,” the lawyer said.

‘Nightmarish experience’

DPP Raja Rozela Raja Toran, in pressing for a deterrent sentence, said Nirmala had come to Malaysia to find a decent job but had returned emotionally scarred to Indonesia.

"Although the physical injuries may have healed, she will always be haunted by her nightmarish experience while working here," she said.

Raja Rozela said the injuries inflicted on Nirmala were done not using ordinary items, but a hot iron and hot water, while the injuries were to her whole body.

"It is unbelievable that one woman would do that to another who is helpless. The extent of Nirmala's injuries showed the inhumane nature of the perpetrator," the DPP said.

She also applied under section 426 of the Criminal Procedure Code for an order to compel Yim to pay compensation.

Jagjit objected, pointing out that Nirmala had received donations in cash and kind from Malaysia.

"She is already a billionaire in Indonesia. Furthermore, my client is also facing a civil suit filed by Nirmala and the Indonesian government.”

Akhtar said he did not want to hear a defence application for stay of execution today, after Raja Rozela raised an objection.

"You have to file a written notice of appeal and after you do that, I will set a date for the hearing," said the judge.

Akbardin then said he wanted to submit an oral application, as he intended to file a written application later today.

However, the judge would not allow it, assuring, “I will set the earliest date available".

Legal history

Outside the court, Jagjit expressed unhappiness with the sentence, saying he felt it to be too harsh.

"This sentence is more severe than for culpable homicide. However, we have to respect the court's decision," he said, adding a notice of appeal would be filed today.

The verdict comes after 110 days of proceedings held over four and a half years.

Yim was charged with four counts of voluntarily causing grievous hurt to the Indonesian, then 19, with a hot iron twice on a day in January and in April 2004, with using hot water on a day in March 2004, and using a metal cup at about 3pm on May 17, 2004.

The offences were committed at Yim's upmarket Villa Putera condominium in Jalan Tun Ismail in Kuala Lumpur.

The first three offences were under section 326 of the Penal Code which carries a maximum punishment of 20 years' jail, and a fine or whipping. The fourth charge under section 325 carries a maximum seven years jail and fine.

This case created legal history when then DPP Stanley Augustin said this was the first time that an individual had been charged with three counts under Section 326 of the Penal Code for offences against the same victim.

Nirmala's case created an uproar among Malaysians and Indonesians, after a security guard discovered her plight.

It made headlines in Malaysia, with photographs of her severe injuries splashed on the front pages of newspapers when her plight was revealed in 2004.

Bonat said that Yim abused her every day of the five months she spent in the family's home, until her breasts and back were covered with burns, and her face was swollen by regular beatings.

In Indonesia, it sparked protests in front of the Malaysian embassy with demonstrators calling for better treatment for domestic helpers.- Malaysiakini, 27/11/2008 - Maid abuse: Housewife gets 18 years

It is good that the perpetrator of the crime is punished - but what about compensation for the victim of the crime. Criminal Courts must start making awards of compensation. There seem to have been an application here...but it seems that there was no award of compensation.

This means that now Nirmala Bonat will have to file a civil suit to get compensation and damages...and she still can do that as 6 years have not yet lapsed.

When migrant workers come forward and report a crime or a wrong committed by their employer or their family against him/her, that migrant worker should be able to go to some SHELTER to stay. Surely, she cannot go back to her employer...This SHELTER must be provided by the government.

Until the case is over , be it a criminal case as in the case of Nirmala Bonat or a Labour/Industrial case, the Migrant Worker should be permitted to remain in Malaysia - and also to be able to work and earn a living as he/she waits for her case to be completed.

When it comes to Migrant Workers - cases have to be expedited, to be completed not later than 3 - 6 months.

Updated Note

Compensation - the court should order the perpetrator to pay the victim compensation.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Control what we can: Protect rights for all workers include migrant worker.

It is good to know Home ministry aware about “Some migrant worker were not paid salary, abused and ran away “ and those who were abused, reports should be made so that the Ministry could take appropriate action . What is appropriate action Mr. Minister? Arrest them by RELA instead of facilitate for right to redress?
Mr. Malaysia society and economic development dependence on the labour from the migrant’s worker so why we are not accept that and legalise them . Lot of undocumented workers felled in to irregular situation and makes them undocumented.
Consider the factor that Migrants & Refugee will still coming to Malaysia as the survive strategy for their life as their country like Burma dictate by Regime.
Interesting question from S. Kulasegaran (DAP - Ipoh Barat) asked about the action that the Government had taken to overcome problems of foreign workers who overstayed “ Hmm so S. Kulasegaran ask to compare with what UK will do with Malaysian who over stayed in UK or as he cares about migrants rights and well being and consider of unfair circumstances occurred when migrants arrest and their condition in detention ?
Any MP in parliament who cares to ask how many cases Minister of human resources facilitate for migrant workers to claim their remedy when they were abuse and exploited in Malaysia ?

Published: Thursday November 6, 2008 MYT 3:45:00 PM
Updated: Thursday November 6, 2008 MYT 7:31:11 PM
Number of undocumented workers under control

KUALA LUMPUR: The number of undocumented foreign workers coming into Malaysia is under control following concerted and continuous efforts by the Immigration Department, the Royal Malaysian Armed Forces and Rela volunteers, said Home Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar.
He said from 2001 to 2008, 271,375 undocumented workers had been caught through their efforts.
The cost of administration and sending them back to their home countries through sea travel was RM205 for each person while the cost of air travel was RM1,200 and RM3,600 for each person, depending on which home country destination it was.
Amran Abdul Ghani (PKR - Tanah Merah) had asked the Minister in Parliament on Thursday to state the number of undocumented workersfrom 1997 to 2007 and the cost of sending them home.
Syed Hamid also said that it was estimated that there were one million undocumented foreigners in Malaysia and 2% of them had committed crimes.
On a supplementary question, S. Kulasegaran (DAP - Ipoh Barat) asked about the action that the Government had taken to overcome problems of foreign workers who overstayed.
”Some were not paid salary, abused and ran away but they overstayed to work so that they could get enough money to return to their home countries,” Syed Hamid said.
He said if those who had overstayed and run away were reported to the Ministry, they would be fined and sent back to their countries with cooperation from the relevant embassies.
However, he said that was not the main problem.
“Most of the problems were created by our own people taking in undocumented workers. This is the biggest number of undocumented foreigners,” he said.
On those who were abused, reports should be made so that the Ministry could take appropriate action, he said.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Biometric technology by Malaysian immigration: Stop wastes the money please!

What is Malaysian immigration is doing? Why the ASEAN government would like to follow? The whole idea is about the used to verify on the spot the authenticity of a foreign worker and curb the influx of illegal then do what arrest them, detain them and send them back home? So they will find the way back as they couldn’t at all survive in their country like Burma when they are no security and peace?
This should be the debate and we should be really informed about why in this recession of economic the immigration would like to implement the expensive technology? How much it costs for entire program? Who has the contract with ICT software and security company Multimedia Glory Sdn Bhd (MGSB) and how much immigration has to pay them? Where is the money come from? And what happening with the scandal of corruption in immigration department?
For US since September 11, 2001, there has been a great deal of interest in using biometrics for verification of identity and as the tool on the war on terror … so Malaysia and ASEAN want to follow. The reality is mostly of people from Mekong region, member of ASEAN they are illegal in their own country.. like Burma, Lao PDR and Cambodia ..Their rights to access to legal document like passport is not yet recognize and easy so how are we going to do that … arrest and curb everyone who do not have passport? So not having passport and identity should be stateless not the terror!! Shame on you! Shame on ASEAN for does nothing to improve Burma!
The government should consider whether biometric systems really work, whether they are sufficiently advanced to provide their capabilities, and their effectiveness and It should be noted that the technologies can be difficult to compare--especially their cost.
How will the system ensure accuracy? how will it be protected? Who will make sure that program administrators are responsible to privacy concerns? Can people remove themselves from a database voluntarily--in effect or if there is a choice, will people be informed of optional versus mandatory enrollment alternatives or they just mandatory use it over personnel data ?
Instead of spend the resources to use expensive technology immigration should spend their resources to verify and give the PR status to spouse of Malaysian to prove Malaysia is truly ASIA with caring and sharing community or improve the detention facility as they are outrage about how bad the condition is.. And don’t forget to work harder with ASEAN to bring down the Burmese regime.. Without dictator military people from Burma will not be influx to their neighboring country as refugee.

Tuesday November 4, 2008
Asean governments keen on KL’s method of tracking illegals

KUALA LUMPUR: Six Asean governments want to learn more about Malaysia’s biometric system of effectively tracking down illegal immigrants, Immigration enforcement director Datuk Ishak Mohamad said.
The Mobile Immigration Enforcement Sys–tem (MIES) is stored in a laptop that can to be used to verify on the spot the authenticity of a foreign worker and curb the influx of illegals.
“This is a technological breakthrough for Malaysia and six Asean countries have asked Malaysia to share the technology,” he said after briefing Asean Immigration officials here yesterday.
Ishak said a third of the 3.3 million foreign workers in the country were illegals who did not have any documentation, had false ones or had overstayed.
Award-winning ICT software and security company Multimedia Glory Sdn Bhd (MGSB) developed MIES to combat identity fraud and manage the influx of illegal visitors.
Its executive chairman Dr Lalitha Kaleedhass said MIES contained unique features that would effectively check the validity of foreign nationals working or residing in Malaysia.This biometric technology was recommended as the standard biometric implementation by the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) to all its countries.

ttp:// Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) to all its countries.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Migration: One way or another ... Malaysian in UK

Migration: One way or another.. Malaysian who are migrants in UK also working for their better life.. But UK do not have REELA to abuse migrants like Malaysian government do..
Not sure how many Malaysian migrants will take the offer and go back home..

PUTRAJAYA: Malaysians staying illegally in Britain have been offered amnesty and a one-way ticket home by the government there.
Home Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar said those who took up the offer would not face the country's immigration laws but would be barred from returning for five years.

This initiative, he said, was made following discussions between the British government and the International Organisation for Migration.

However, the one-off offer will not last long.

It is understood that the deadline for the offer has been linked with the deadline given to the Malaysian government to ensure that its citizens observe British immigration laws.
Britain had initially wanted to impose strict regulations requiring Malaysians to obtain visas to enter the country as many abused immigration laws by overstaying.

However, this was reconsidered in July.

"The British government is serious about addressing the issue of illegal immigrants, including the scores from Malaysia.

"Malaysians also risk having to apply for visas in the future if we do not improve on our record there," Syed Hamid said at the National Registration Department's Hari Raya gathering.

Also present were the ministry's secretary-general Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof and Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan.

Records show that from January to August, some 250,000 Malaysians travelled to Britain.

Currently, Malaysians travelling to Britain without visas are allowed to stay for up to six months.

On another matter Syed Hamid said the government would start re-issuing the green MyKad to 38,672 people.

These people are those whose parentage "could not be determined". They will have to renew their MyKad every five years.

The government stopped issuing the identification documents in 2004.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Restrictive border controls and bans on women's movement should not be considered methods to stop trafficking.

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Straight to the point statement from GAATW to GFMD “Restrictive border controls and bans on women's movement should not be considered methods to stop trafficking “ more and more restrict of movement of person especially women it will leads to more risk during migration and that is the real trafficking .. The holistic approach on Migrants' rights especially women rights should be upheld in practice, and central to all policy level including GFMD discussions

Statement of the Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women (GAATW) to the Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD)

Statement of the Global Alliance against Traffic in Women (GAATW) to

the Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD)

Manila, Philippines, 27-30 October 2008

The Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women (GAATW)[1] is committed to ending trafficking and to the protection of the human rights of trafficked persons and women migrant workers.

We take this opportunity to present our position on GFMD Roundtables 1.1 Protecting the rights of migrants and 2.2 Managing migration and minimizing the negative impacts of irregular migration. We call for the following:

4. Restrictive border controls and bans on women's movement should not be considered methods to stop trafficking.

5. Migration policies should not contradict the aims of anti-trafficking policies to protect trafficked persons and other migrants.

6. Migrants' rights should be upheld in practice, and central to all GFMD discussions.

Despite many governments' commitments to human rights and well-intentioned efforts to address human trafficking, the rights of migrant and trafficked women are still being violated. In 2007, GAATW published Collateral Damage, a report[2] which examines what measures states in eight countries have taken to combat trafficking and the human rights impacts of these measures. This has provided a strong evidence base for recommendations.

1. Restrictive border controls and bans on women's movement should not be considered methods to stop trafficking.

GAATW is concerned with the assumption in Roundtable 2.2 that 'irregular migration' is linked to or synonymous with trafficking, implying that managing and clamping down on irregular migration, through strict border controls, would best address trafficking. Not only does this overlook that trafficking occurs even when a person has migrated through regular channels, it also ignores the present reality in which many working class people must migrate through whatever means to survive.

Anti-trafficking laws are adversely affecting working class migrants by restricting semi-skilled women's movement from their country of origin or at border crossings. To date, trafficking prevention efforts have centered on the movement of potentially trafficked persons by tightening border security and preventing certain low-skilled migrant workers from leaving origin countries or entering countries of destination. This makes the migration process difficult for all migrants and increases the need for third-party assistance (brokers, agents) which increases migrants vulnerability to traffickers. Thus, when not properly assessed anti-trafficking laws can increase trafficking.

Anti-trafficking measures are commonly developed to 'protect women', rather than protecting their rights. This has led to women from some origin countries being denied the right to leave their country. For example, the Indian Government considered women migrant workers a "particularly vulnerable lot" and "issued an order prohibiting any female household worker below the age of 30 from being employed in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia under any circumstance."[3] To avoid this ban, women are having to take riskier migration options than their male counterparts, making them more vulnerable to abuse at the destination point.

Destination countries have also closed their borders in misguided attempts at protection. Many Brazilian women attempting to enter the European Union have been repeatedly denied entrance and repatriated on the grounds that immigration officials thought they looked like "prostitutes" and thus likely to be trafficked. The preventative language used here does not mask the violations of women's rights to freedom of movement and freedom from discrimination. More empowering strategies must be found.

2. Migration policies should not contradict the aims of anti-trafficking policies to protect trafficked persons and other migrants.

Under many migration management programmes, the ability of people who need to migrate for work in order to survive or to improve their well-being is being severely restricted, as people are prevented from being able to migrate legally and safely into fair and reasonable working conditions.

Migration and labour policies are discriminating against poor people and particularly poor women. Such discrimination creates opportunities for dishonest brokers, corrupt officials and ruthless employers to exploit or traffic migrants. Effective prevention of trafficking thus requires recognition of the migration-trafficking nexus and seeks to facilitate and promote safe migration and fair work for all. Migration policies should be reformed so as not to contravene the aims of anti-trafficking initiatives.

Most trafficked persons are economic migrants, but it is important to remember that the vast majority of economic migrants are not trafficked. Governments and civil society organisations therefore need to work closely with migrants to determine not only what makes them vulnerable to trafficking, but also what safeguards were instrumental in ensuring a 'safe migration' situation.

3. Migrants' rights should be upheld in practice, and central to all GFMD discussions.

The first GFMD Roundtable (1.1 and 1.2) emphasizes that "[r]especting the rights of migrants is especially relevant for lower skilled labour migrants and also for female migrants..."[4] The rights-focus in GFMD Roundtables 1.1 and 1.2 should not be forgotten in Roundtables 2.1 to 3.3, which are not explicitly about rights.

The GFMD Roundtables run concurrently, and we question whether the conversations on
human rights being discussed in one room will have any impact on the discussions on
irregular migration in another. We challenge those delegates attending
Roundtables 2.1 to 3.3 to ensure that human rights implications of
regularisation policies, anti-trafficking legislation and migration management
programmes are examined.

We urge governments to take seriously not only the human rights of regular migrants
but also those who are undocumented.
Further we encourage governments to maintain
a human rights approach which does not make the protection of the
rights of
migrants and trafficked persons secondary to the perceived protection of
national security.

Trafficked persons are migrants who have ended up working in exploitative working conditions. Appropriate protection of the rights of migrants and workers is essential. Human rights such as freedom of movement, the right to migrate and freedom from discrimination should be rights given to all migrants including trafficked persons.

We appreciate that human rights have been included in this year's GFMD programme, and we would like to comment on the instrumental nature of their inclusion. The topic description for Roundtable 1.1 states: "These standards and rights are accorded to migrants on the assumption that a protected worker is a more productive worker, and thus, becomes a better agent of development."[5] We would like to emphasize the equal, universal and inalienable nature of human rights, rather than an instrumental one. Rights should not be conferred on people depending on whether the meeting of a right is deemed 'useful' for development or any other cause. Rather rights should be granted for rights' sake, rather than because they make someone a 'productive worker'.


1. Restrictive border controls and bans on women's movement should not be considered methods to stop trafficking.

o Protect people against discriminatory practices that particularly restrict semi-skilled women at points of origin and at border crossings.

2. Migration policies should not contradict the aims of anti-trafficking policies to protect trafficked persons and other migrants.

o Reform migration policies to be in line with national and international anti-trafficking legislation to protect trafficked persons and other migrants.

o Ensure that migrants are involved in developing appropriate mechanisms to end labour exploitation and trafficking, by their identification of safeguards instrumental to ensuring 'safe migration'.

o Allow for full migrant participation in the GFMD process and discussions.

3. Migrants' rights should be upheld in practice, and central to all GFMD discussions.

o Recognize the rights of all migrants (undocumented and documented) as equal, universal and inalienable.

o Maintain a human rights framework and impact assessment in all GFMD roundtables.

o Uphold the rights of all migrants to freedom of movement, to migrate, and to freedom from discrimination, over and above perceived protection of national security.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Muslims right to be protected against mandatory testing on HIV

The news from the Star below is really alarm on the issue of mandatory testing on HIV which violates human right of person and their dignity. According to the new starting next year Muslims planning to get married must undergo HIV tests. Why they have to do that?

  • Does Islamic Development Department (Jakim) understand right to privacy? Every person should protected against mandatory testing; HIV status kept confidential
  • Why Muslim couple? Being Muslim they also entitle to protected against discrimination
  • If the department would like to do activity to prevent the transmission of HIV, all the rights include right to information and education, freedom of movement , right to non-discrimination ,right to health and right to privacy . All of these rights should be protected so that people will come forward for HIV information, education and means of protection, and will be supported to avoid risky behaviour:

Testing for HIV require Pre and Post counseling from the trained counselor.. The result from testing without proper counseling will have huge consequences to person. It should be an option NOT the must undergo HIV tests /mandatory testing.

It reminded us on the Malaysian and lots of other government policy on mandatory testing for migrant worker. If they found HIV+ they won’t be able to get the work permit and it violates their right to employment and really discrimination.

So we must call to end all policy on mandatory testing either they are Muslim couple or migrant worker.

Pre-marital HIV tests for Muslims

The Star , Tuesday Oct 7 , 2008

STARTING next year Muslims planning to get married must undergo HIV tests.

Islamic Development Department (Jakim) director-general Datuk Wan Mohamad Sheikh Abdul Aziz said all state religious authorities agreed to implement and enforce the ruling in a meeting in July.

However, Wan Mohamad said those found to have been infected with the AIDS would still be allowed to continue with the marriage if both partners wanted to go ahead.

"The couples will not be stopped if they want to go through it. In fact, state religious authorities will play their role in assisting such couples by giving them counselling and advice on preventive measures, and on how to prepare themselves physically and mentally.

"The HIV test will be offered to Muslims free of charge," he told Berita Harian.

The daily also reported that Rela officers would be roped in to monitor activities at all 67 Puspakom branches nationwide after an earlier operation received positive feedback from the public.

Its chief executive officer Datuk Salamat Wahit said the idea would be implemented after the festive season and that Rela personnel currently stationed at five Puspakom branches were helpful.

"We think this is a good idea as an immediate measure to deter touts at Puspakom," he said.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

THIS YEAR’S TREATY EVENT : 39 state parties ratified Migrant Workers Convention

The Convention on the Rights of Migrant Workers received two ratifications (Jamaica and Paraguay) and one signature, taking the number of State parties to 39.

Malaysian government ratified UN Convention against Corruption bringing the total number of States parties to 126.

Surprise to see Lao PDR ratified the Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance together with Bulgaria, Greece, Iceland, and United Republic of Tanzania) and one ratification (France), giving it a total of five States parties (others are Albania, Argentina, Honduras and Mexico) towards the 20 needed to enter into force.

CEDAW: The Optional Protocol to CEDAW received one accession and one ratification (Tunisia and Switzerland) and two signatures, taking the total number of States parties to 92. The Optional Protocol entered into force in 2000 and provides for communications by individuals or groups regarding violations of the Convention to be received by the monitoring Committee and permits the Committee to conduct inquiries into grave or systematic violations.


42 Member States Took Actions in Areas of Environment, Trade, Disarmament

The 2008 Treaty Event concluded today with 42 Member States having taken 81 treaty actions. Six States participated at the level of Head of State and 21 at the level of Minister for Foreign Affairs. There were a total of 32 signatures and 49 ratifications, accessions, consents to be bound and other actions.

The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities received the most attention at this year's Event, with six signatures and three ratifications (
Austria, New Zealand and Uganda), bringing the total number of States parties to 40. The Optional Protocol to the same Convention received seven signatures and two ratifications ( Austria and Uganda). The Convention and its Optional Protocol both entered into force in May this year.

The Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance received five signatures (Bulgaria, Greece, Iceland, Lao People’s Democratic Republic and United Republic of Tanzania) and one ratification (France), giving it a total of five States parties (others are Albania, Argentina, Honduras and Mexico) towards the 20 needed to enter into force.

The International Covenants on Civil and Political and on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights received an additional signatory --
Comoros -- taking the number of signatories to 71 and 68, respectively. The number of States parties to the Covenants is 162 and 159, respectively.

The Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, concerning abolition of the death penalty, received one ratification (Chile), taking the total number of State parties to 68.

The Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women received one accession and one ratification (
Tunisia and Switzerland) and two signatures, taking the total number of States parties to 92. The Optional Protocol entered into force in 2000 and provides for communications by individuals or groups regarding violations of the Convention to be received by the monitoring Committee and permits the Committee to conduct inquiries into grave or systematic violations.

The Convention on the Rights of Migrant Workers received two ratifications (
Jamaica and Paraguay) and one signature, taking the number of State parties to 39. The Convention entered into force in 2003 and creates international standards for the protection of the human rights of migrant workers and their families.

The Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture, which entered into force in 2006, received one signature (

The two Optional Protocols to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, relating to the involvement of children in armed conflict and the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography, received one signature and one ratification each (the Russian Federation ratified the former and Monaco ratified the latter). Both Optional Protocols entered into force in 2002.

In the area of the environment, sustainable development, water and sanitation, the International Tropical Timber Agreement, 2006, which has not yet entered into force, received four signatures and one ratification (Australia) bringing the total number of States parties to 12.

Liberia joined the Law of the Sea Convention, bringing the total number of State parties to 157. Liberia and Guyana also became parties to the Convention's Implementation Agreement.

In the area of disarmament and penal matters,
Jamaica made several actions, including acceding to the Conventional Weapons Convention and all its Protocols and Amendments. Belarus also became the forty-eighth State party to Protocol V of the Convention, concerning explosive remnants of war.

The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) received one signature (Timor-Leste) and one ratification (
Burundi), taking the total number of States parties to 145. The Treaty, which opened for signature in 1996, is intended to prohibit all nuclear-weapon-test explosions. The CTBT has achieved near-universal adherence, but article XIV of the Treaty requires ratification by 44 named States before the Treaty can enter into force. Of these 44 States, three -- India, Pakistan, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea -- have not signed the Treaty. A further six States -- China, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Israel, United States -- have signed but not ratified the Treaty.

Three ratifications to the UN Convention against Corruption (
Belgium, Malaysia and Tunisia) were received, bringing the total number of States parties to 126.

Other treaties that received ratifications during this year’s Treaty Event included the International Conventions for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism and the Suppression of Financing of Terrorism; and the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its Protocols, among others.

In addition, the Convention on the Safety of United Nations and Associated Personnel and its Optional Protocol received one accession and ratification, respectively. The Lao People’s Democratic Republic and Guyana each deposited instruments to become party to treaties relevant to landlocked and transit developing countries.

Since the first Treaty Event was held in 2000, a total of 1,442 treaty actions have taken place during these events. Treaty actions include, for example, signatures, ratifications, approvals, acceptances, accessions and consents to be bound.

For further information on the 2008 Treaty Event, including all photos of treaty actions, visit the new UN Treaty Database website at:

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Inflation and standard of living

Reading this news on Malaysia inflation rate has jumped to a 27-year high of 8.5 percent in August and wondering how does inflation impact our life and how is impact life of migrant worker?

Surely the inflation will hurt our standard of living because we have to pay more and more for the same goods and services. If our income doesn't increase at the same rate as inflation, we will find our standard of living declining even though we are making more. Also, inflation doesn't impact everything equally, so that some things (such as gas prices) can double while other things (our home) may lose value. For worker who earn monthly income if the wages not increase according to the costs of living , standard of living is most likely to be affected .

For migrant workers who is actually earn income lower than local worker or not even get pay after the reduction of all the employment fees &charges .When migrant workers did not get fair wages and how could they be able to afford their basic needs..

Inflation jumps to 27-year high Sep 24, 08 5:16pm

The inflation rate has jumped to a 27-year high of 8.5 percent in August, driven by the escalating cost of food and fuel, according to official data released today.

"The result was slightly higher than expected but the central Bank Negara would not raise interest rates to ensure growth," said Wan Suhaimi Saidi, an economist with Kenanga Investment Bank.

"It is slightly above my expectation. I was looking at 8.4 percent. I don't think the government will increase the key interest rates. It will be maintained at 3.50 percent till the year-end to support growth," he told AFP.

The Department of Statistics revised downwards the inflation figure for July to 8.3 percent. It had earlier stated that the figure was 8.5 percent.

It said the cost of food and non-alcoholic drinks rose 11.7 percent in August compared to a year ago. The high inflation is already hurting consumers with many Malaysians cutting down on their food bill.

"The increase (in inflation for August) was shown in the selected main groups, namely food and non-alcoholic," it said in a statement.

Escalating food, transport prices

The August data showed escalating prices in most categories, including transport which jumped 21.8 percent, and restaurants and hotels which rose 6.5 percent.

The government hiked the fuel price by 41 percent in June, in a move to rein in the ballooning cost of subsidies but it has indicated prices could be lowered soon.

High inflation was one of the factors that led to an unprecedented humiliation at March general elections for the ruling coalition, which lost five states and a third of parliamentary seats.

Bank Negara has said it expects inflation to moderate in the second half of 2008 as economic growth is likely to slow down.

Shahrir: Inflation to remain high

After releasing August's Consumer Price Index (CPI), Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Shahrir Samad said he does not expect September's inflation to be much lower.

"Although, the full effects of the petrol price reductions in August and now have not been fully factored in yet, September CPI may not be much lower.

"The lower petrol prices is expected to be offset by the increase spending during Hari Raya holidays and the 30 percent surcharge on public transportation," said Shahrir.

But the minister does expect the CPI to have peaked.

On a positive note, Shahrir said that inflation seems to have stabilised as the month-to-month increase was only 0.2 percent. However, overall inflation for the year is expected to hover around 4.8 percent.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

RELA:- Making money seems to be the priority

Apart from the demanding the Malaysian government to immediately abolish RELA, we need also push for the development of clear standards and procedures concerning the arrest, detention and deportation.

These should be in line with the international standard of UN and human rights institution like Human rights commission ,if they have good one !

We have to also monitor why state like to declare crackdown against undocumented migrants. Has it got anything to do with security, or is it just pure business.

Transparency is an important aspect of good governance and it seems that it has far to go …

03-09-2008: AG’s Report: Rela vehicles bought without following financial rules

PETALING JAYA: The home ministry has bought 313 vehicles costing RM16.87 million for Rela, the voluntary security corps, but only a quarter of the mileage chalked up was for conducting operations to arrest illegal immigrants.

This was revealed in the Auditor-General’s (AG) 2007 Report, which was released last Friday. The vehicles were used for 52 of the 312 days that operations against illegal immigrant were held from 2004 to 2007. It had only chalked up 16,646 km or 25.9% in mileage for the operations from 64,258km.

“The auditors could not determine the accuracy of log books for mileage, usage of vehicles and fuel, especially in district Rela offices,” said the report.

Furthermore, the ministry has no special allocations for purchase of vehicles, but used the leftovers from the development allocations from 2004 to 2007, auditors found.

“The ministry should stop the practice of using leftover development allocations to purchase vehicles because it is not in accordance with financial rules in contract management,” said the report.

The ministry would have to prepare a special allocation for purchases like these so that there would be planning and proper execution, it said.

According to the report, Rela had only 68 vehicles until 2003. It had then proposed to acquire more vehicles from 2004 to 2006, following the government’s decision to engage Rela in operations to arrest illegal immigrants.

However, the audit check showed that Rela had only raised the matter generally without justifying the intended purchases by showing actual need and ensuring that the vehicles were suitable for their intended purpose. The report also found that Rela had decided at the headquarters level on the types of vehicles and the number of units without consultation with the states.

The report further said that the proposal should have been supported by schedules for the planning and execution of activities. It should also specify the types of cars with current market prices, road tax, insurance, sales commission and the prices of optional accessories.

The report found that the ministry’s chief secretary had applied to the Ministry of Finance to buy the vehicles through negotiation instead of open tender due to Rela’s urgent need.

“However, the appointment of the suppliers did not take into account the ability of the company to supply the vehicles. It was found that the company could not supply three of the vehicles at the agreed time because they were out of stock,” the report said.

It also revealed that four Toyota Fortuner SUVs and two Toyota Hilux pick-ups that were not in the proposal were supplied while 125 units of Kia Pregio vans were purchased instead of the 18 units planned.

The AG’s report also could not find the basis for the distribution of the vehicles and was of the opinion that Rela should have stated it in the written form so that there would be no disputes.

It also found that 49 vehicles from the headquarters and the Sabah branch were not used in the operations at all from 2004 to 2007.