‘Political links behind inaction on 6P mess’

Tenaganita’s Irene Fernandez says that political links is one of the reasons why the government is being silent on exploitation of foreign workers under the 6P programme 

Teoh El Sen, FMT

The Malaysian government’s inaction in solving the 6P amnesty programme “fiasco” is due to strong political links between errant agents and the BN, Tenaganita’s Irene Fernandez alleged today.

The migrant rights NGO’s executive director was commenting on the revelation that former Home Minister Mohd Radzi Sheikh Ahmad, is a director of a government-appointed agent which is being investigated by the police for several human trafficking related offences.

“The presence of a former minister in a company that has been found to have committed so many alleged crimes speaks volumes. This is yet another reminder of how urgent and imperative it is that investigations into allegations of corruption and state complicity in fraud involving the 6P programme be carried out independently, and openly,” said Fernandez.

“This tells you why there has been inaction. It is because of the strong political links to the regime and the government of the day. This is blatant fraud, but nothing is done,” she said.

Fernandez also called upon Mohd Radzi, currently MP of Kangar, to declare his assets and how much money he has made from the company, SNT Universal Corporation Sdn Bhd.

“I find it strange that a lawmaker does not know what his responsibility is in a company,” she said.

She alleged that Radzi, during his tenure as minister, was himself responsible for the victimisation of thousands of Bangladeshi workers.

In 2006, the government lifted a 10-year freeze on the recruitment of Bangladeshi workers. Thousands were then recruited and cheated through an outsourcing process, said Irene.

She said that the same “fraudulent” outsourcing companies were now given the opportunity to cheat again when they were appointed to act as agents under the 6P amnesty programme.

“More than one year after the 6P was announced, thousands who have paid between RM3,000 to RM4,000 to these companies to be legalised remain undocumented. They are open to arrest, detention and whipping under the Immigration Act,” she said.

Bogus employers

Fernandez said that many migrants continue to be threatened and abused by these agents, who insist on obtaining fradulent work permits through “bogus employers”. Police and official reports have been lodged but nothing has come out of it.

On Nov 23, FMT reported about Mohd Radzi’s directorship in SNT Universal Corporation, which is being investigated for exploiting about 200 foreign workers, mainly Bangladeshis.

SNT had allegedly falsely claimed that it is able to register foreigners under the 6P programme and getting work permits for them, setting up dozens of bogus employment agencies, and assaulting job-seeking foreigners.

The last allegation is based on CCTV recordings.

According to the Companies Commission of Malaysia (CCM), Radzi became a director of SNT on May 17, 2011.

However, Radzi’s response was that “some friends” roped him into being an SNT director and denied knowledge of its activities.

“I’m not involved in human trafficking,” he said. “People ask me to become a director in all sorts of things. I have no connection with the company.”

Under the 6P programme, illegal foreign workers will either be legalised or deported without punishment. The six Ps represent the Malay words for registration, legalisation, amnesty, monitoring, enforcement and deportation. The government has appointed more than 300 companies to handle registration.