Sunday, October 08, 2017

Penang's 'American Indian Reservation' like policy for Migrant Workers? Anti-Human Rights?

What Penang government is doing may be considered 'racist' and anti human rights.

The treatment of migrant workers as not being human beings, equal as other human persons, is shameful. Migrant workers should be treated like any other person in Penang, whether they are Malaysian citizens or not. They should have the freedom of movement, and the right to stay where they want...

The Penag government, allegedly was responding to some complaints from people in Penang, that they feel uncomfortable that migrant workers are renting an appartment/flat/house and staying there in the place where there are staying. [Now people where these dormitories are being built are also objecting].

Penang government says that they are going on with their plans for these 'dormitories' for migrant workers allegedly 'to address the social problem involving foreigners'. What social problems? Maybe the Penang government should explain...what social problems? The 'wrongdoings' of a few migrant workers should not influence your perception of all migrant workers - that is called PREJUDICE?

Is it a new Penang Government policy that non-citizens should not be allowed to stay in flats, appartments, housing estates, in Penang - and that it is exclusively for Malaysian citizens - no more foreigners. 

Does the same policy apply for all foreigners - or just the 'lower paid' migrant workers? Will it also mean all foreign embassy staff, and higher incomed employees(including managers, CEOs,...) who are not Malaysians are to be no longer allowed to stay where Malaysians are staying... or, is it just a policy for the lower-incomed migrant workers. [Note the home owners seem to have have no problem renting out appartments and flats to migrant workers - so, this is really a Penang Government Policy and Action]

If these were refugees or asylum seekers, who had no place to stay - this idea of providing proper housing for such refugees would have been applauded... but the idea of  a separate housing area for migrants is shocking? 

The migrant workers did not ask for this... {In any event, provision of housing would have been the responsibility of employers - so why is the Penang government expending the people's monies to build these dormitories for migrants. OR maybe, the Penang government is simply approving of some employers to build such housing for their migrant workers...Which is it?}. Either way, it would be indicative on Penang Government's policy...and, I believe, it is wrong.

Human beings certainly have a right to choose where they want to stay, and with whom. One worker from Vietnam may choose not to stay with another Vietnamese worker, etc. Myanmar workers may prefer not to stay with workers from Philippines..or from another religion - and that should be the choice of the migrant worker. Some may want to stay alone...some may stay in an apartment..some may choose to stay in a terrace house...That is a choice that every human being must have.

What Penang government is doing now looks like they are agreeing to a creation of  a "Reservation' for American Natives for the Migrant Workers in Penang, to keep them separated from the rest of the Malaysian people in Penang.  

What is the plan really? After work, will they be all forced in buses and transported to these 'dormitories'...and then what? Will guards be placed to prevent these migrant workers from moving around and leaving their 'compound'? ...go to supermarlets, churches, temples, mosques, beaches...?

Will their 'Malaysian friends' or others not be allowed to visit them? Will UNIONS be disallowed from meeting these migrants, and organising them to join Unions? 

We have criticized employers and/or their agents, who treated migrants like this...and now the Penang Government led by the DAP is doing this? 

Even the UMNO-BN government , I believe, did not embark on such a 'policy' isolate the place where migrants can stay, to keep them apart from the rest of the Penangites?

Initially some Malaysian workers and even unions rejected the idea of working with migrant workers...but finally attitudes have changed, and now they accept these 'migrant workers' as fellow workers...and even now, many unions have accepted migrant members as union members.

We were all appalled by the 'Muslim only' laundry shop - but even that did not discriminate between citizen and non-citizen. 

None of the religious communities have been seen to object to the presence of migrant workers in their places of worship - some even have special programs for these migrant workers...YES, Malaysians are accepting migrant workers are a member of the Malaysian multi-ethnic multi-religious community. The UMNO-BN government also did not bar migrant worker access from public services and facilities.

This Penang Government policy and actions is certainly against the Malaysian values...and certainly would be against human rights.

If the Penang government's plan is to provide cheaper accommodation for  single workers - then it is OK - and it should be available to everyone - Malaysians or migrants, BUT it must remain a CHOICE - it should not be forced on any persons. 

We expected better from an Opposition government (DAP-PKR-PAS, or is it maybe now not a DAP-PKR -Amanah -Harapan government, with a DAP Chief Minister).

I am worried that we are soon going to see notices in shops and shopping malls ...'No Migrants Allowed'. Will there soon be 'Migrants Only Toilets'....or will Penang soon be heading towards a Malay only housing communities' or a 'Chinese only ?,...

Remember that our own Federal Constitution provides for 'EQUALITY' of all persons...not simply equality only for Malaysian citizens..

PRICIPLES and VALUES determine how people will vote in the upcoming General Elections. 

The fact that Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng, did not choose to 'resign' or at the very least dissolve the State Legislative Assembly and call for a State Elections when the Chief Minister was faced with allegations of corruption and abuse of power...which now is in court, was already a negative point for the Opposition. 

That continuing to be Chief Minister without seeking a new mandate of the Penang People, immediately destroyed the moral authority of the DAP and maybe even the Opposition from even now calling on PM Najib to resign in the face of serious allegations of kleptocracy and other wrongdoing.

This policy and action concerning migrant workers in Penang makes us to even question DAP and the Opposition ...their suitability of being the next government of Malaysia - maybe even their continued governance of Penang...

We have highlighted this disturbing policy and plans before...but sadly, the recent Bernama report, indicates that Penang Government's policy and plans have not changed....

New Detention Centre - like Dorms for Migrant Workers in Penang? Discriminatory? Anti-Union?

Would this be a racist policy? Would this be a discriminatory policy? Possibly even a discrimination against the poor...? Is it a violation of human rights? Well, you readers will have to decide.

Personally, I am of the opinion that it is an unjust and anti-human rights policy...and  I do hope that the Penang government abandons this policy...Is this the Pakatan Harapan policy too? PAS?

Many of us want a change, something other than UMNO-BN, and we hope that the Opposition that is looking for our support will provide us with something better, that is also based on human rights and justice... 

Penang gov't goes ahead with building foreign worker dorms despite protests

    Bernama     Published     Updated

Penang DAP-led government will go ahead with its plan to build dormitories for foreign workers at five identified locations despite objection by the local residents.

State housing, town and country planning committee chairperson Jagdeep Singh Deo said the Penang government was going ahead with its plan to build dormitories for foreign workers to address the social problem involving foreigners.

He said the first foreign workers' dormitories which are currently under construction in Bukit Minyak were expected to be completed by August next year.

"The current progress of the project in Bukit Minyak has reached 40 percent and I believe it will be completed by next year to combat rising social ills involving the foreigners," he told reporters after attending prayers at Sri Ramar temple at Solok York in Georg Town today.

It was reported previously that residents in Juru have been objecting the plan to build the foreign workers dormitories in their areas citing that the areas will be flooded with foreigners and it could contribute to the increase in social problems.

However, Jagdeep said the state had approved five applications to build foreign workers’ dormitories and among the first one to be completed was the 6,000 bedded block in Bukit Minyak.

Jagdeep said the other location of the planned foreign workers' dormitories were Juru, Permatang Tinggi, Valdor Industrial areas and Permatang Damar Laut in Batu Maung.

"Apart from Juru which is currently at the planning stage, the rest of the foreign workers' dormitories are progressing well," he said.
He said the dormitories at these five places would be able to
accommodate more than 25,000 workers while they were required to have facilities such as a multipurpose hall, canteen, and sick bays.

“Penang has around 200,000 foreign workers. We are looking at catering up to 10% of the number,” he said.

Jagdeep said the purpose was to absorb workers currently staying at places such as flats.

He said there had been numerous complaints from the public of the big number of foreign workers staying at flats, sometimes occupying over half of such housing schemes.

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