Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Lenggeng Immigration Depot breakout - Investigate the root causes

When one is oppressed, ...and continue to be oppressed, then after complaints receive not much response - people will protest...and in the case of detainees at Immigration Detention may end up as what happened at the Lenggeng Detention Centre...

Now, it is reported that they are investigating the breakout - but hopefully this investigation also includes the root causes for the dissatisfaction of the detainees, that culminated in the riot..the fire...the breakout.

And let us also not forget Malaysia's obligations to undocumented migrant workers..On 23rd April 1999, the Malaysian government together with other ASEAN governments signed THE BANGKOK DECLARATION ON IRREGULAR MIGRATION, and declaration 14 states as follows:-

Irregular 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 towards them should be avoided; - BANGKOK DECLARATION ON IRREGULAR MIGRATION
Let us also not forget the deaths by Leptospirosis at these detention centres.

Malaysian Trade Union Congress (MTUC) makes it 26 groups concerned about recent death of 6 Burmese in detention

2 migrants fell sick and died at the KLIA Immigration Depot. Could death have been avoided if the required healthcare was available?

126 groups:- Death of 2 Burmese Indicative of State of Detention Places in Malaysia - Denial of Healthcare Is a Violation of Right to Life 

Why are people being kept at these Detention Centres for so long?  Maximum should be two(2) weeks. Why are the percentage  of undocumented migrants from Burma at our detention centres increasing? Maybe, we should seriously consider documenting these undocumented migrant workers - and getting them jobs in Malaysia, as we certainly still do need many migrant workers. Would that not save the government money - it makes no sense spending so much to detain and deport, when we could solve the problem by just making them all documented migrant workers. Make the procedure for employing migrant workers simpler - let these undocumented migrants go through the existing private employment agencies, and if they get a job - register them, and that solves the problem.

Maybe, Malaysia should also think about the money earned from taxation of income earned by migrants, levy that employers of migrants pay, amount made from remittances services, insurances, etc...and these will also increase the 'coffers' of Malaysia.

SEREMBAN: Police have rounded up 25 of the 105 detainees who escaped from the Lenggeng Immigration Depot for illegals near here on Monday night.

The hunt is on for 80 others who are believed to have escaped to the nearby jungle or oil palm estate.

In the 9.45pm incident, the detainees, the majority of whom are Myanmar nationals, escaped after rioting and setting fire to the upper floor of their detention block.

Short-lived freedom: Some of the runaways who were caught waiting to be transferred to other detention centres at the Lenggeng Immigration Deport near Seremban Tuesday.

State deputy police chief Senior Asst Comm Datuk Abdul Manan Mohd Hassan said 200 personnel from the police field force, air and canine units, Immigration Department and Rela members were involved in the manhunt to track down the runaways.

“We have set up roadblocks in the surrounding areas and at exits leading to Seremban and Semenyih while our air and canine units scour the surrounding areas.

“As at noon today (yesterday), we have rounded up 25 detainees who were found not far from the camp. We are confident all the escapees will be found by Wednesday evening,” he told a press conference at the centre yesterday.

SAC Abdul Manan said 85 of the escapees were Myanmar nationals while the rest were from Iran, Bangladesh, Nepal, Vietnam and Indonesia.

He said the illegals who had been detained at the camp for between three months and a year claimed that they were unhappy with the conditions at their detention block which was overcrowded.

Escape route: The fence which was damaged when 105 detainees made their escape on Monday night.

“The public, especially those living in the area near the camp, are advised to contact the nearest police station if they notice strangers hanging around,” he added.

It is believed that 348 detainees were confined in the detention block which was supposed to house 250 people. No one was injured in the incident.

SAC Abd Manan said as the two-storey block was damaged in the blaze, some of the detainees would now be moved to other detention centres.

There are a total of 925 detainees in the depot, including 192 females.

Meanwhile, Home Ministry secretary-general Datuk Seri Mahmood Adam said a committee comprising the Immigration Detention Centres Department, Prisons Department, Rela and the Civil Defence Department and police had been formed to investigate the breakout.

Immigration Detention Centres director-general Datuk Azri Yusof said none of its officers was injured.

“They could not stop the detainees from running away as there were too many of them,” he said.

He said the department was in the process of upgrading the centre when the incident happened.- Star, 6/4/2011, 105 escape from detention depot, 25 nabbed

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