Reasonable And Unreasonable Voices
I have posted a lot about the threat to expel undocumented migrant workers from Malaysia, most recently here and here. And I've bemoaned the lack of a reasoned public discourse on the issue. As in so many countries there is a lot of xenophobic, intolerant crap being spoken. The government knows its on to a populist winner. The BBC has helpfully posted a number of responses to the expulsion policy here (scroll down). Some voices are reasoned and suggest a humane way forward:
The reason why there are so many 'illegals' in Malaysia is due to corruption and lack of job opportunities in their own home country. Malaysia should allow these people to register for a legal status as immigrant workers. Give them work permits, collect income taxes on their earnings etc, this is better than giving them a harsh punishment of deportation back to where it all began. ... After all part of Malaysia's wealth and well being was built on the hard work and determination of these very same people we so easily label as 'illegals'. Come on Malaysia where is your trademark hospitality and kindness?Or this:
Foreign workers suffer so much hardship and exploitation in order to earn an honest living. They're human too.But most of the opinion is harsh and unforgiving. There are some familiar prejudices: blaming migrants for rising crime; sponging off the state; government weakness in the face of foreign pressure. But I was most taken by the two British commentators who, on this evidence, should become focus group advisers to Michael Howard.
[i]t's my belief that you can't simply stand idly by and allow foreign immigrants to tear the place up with their own agendas and social woes. Illegal immigration should not be tolerated, and if there are no suitable jobs in the Philippines or Indonesia, then it is up to those countries and their governments to get themselves into gear, and not down to the Malaysians. The UK should watch and learn.
The illegal immigrants can only blame themselves if they stay to face jail, a fine and/or a whipping. Shame the UK government is too yellow-bellied to do the same.