THE relevant government agencies, especially the Home Ministry, must provide an explanation regarding Malaysia’s ranking in Tier 3 of the Trafficking in Persons 2021 Report issued by the US State Department.
Special Select Committee on Fundamental Liberty and Constitutional Rights chairman Azizah Mohd Dun said the agencies should also provide an explanation regarding government measures and plans to improve Malaysia’s ranking in the report.
“Coordination among the relevant parties in tackling the issue of forced labour must be carried out more comprehensively and effectively,” she said in a statement today.
She added that the committee was deeply concerned with the matter in the plantation and manufacturing sectors, which caused the country to be placed in that position.
She elaborated that the committee had, so far, held five meetings for in-depth discussions of the issue by calling up the relevant agencies as well as by hearing briefings held by the Ministry of Human Resource; Ministry of Plantation Industries and Commodities; Council for Anti-Trafficking in Persons and Anti-Smuggling of Migrants; and Department of Labour of Peninsular Malaysia.
Azizah said two of the companies handed the Withhold Release Order (WRO) by the United States Customs and Border Protection (USCBP) had also been called up to give an explanation.
She added that the committee was briefed in a meeting yesterday by the Ministry of Human Resource, which presented the results of a trip by its minister, M. Saravanan, to the United States.
“This meeting discussed several important issues, namely Malaysia’s ranking in Tier 3 in the report as well as steps taken regarding the WRO sanctions by the USCBP based on the 11 forced labour indicators of the International Labour Organisation.
“The committee is aware that the issue of forced labour, which caused the WRO to be imposed on eight companies in the plantation and manufacturing sectors, had resulted in losses to the country,” she said. – Bernama, July 21, 2022.