Describing the situation in Malaysia as “grim as ever”, the Washington Post has expressed “surprise” that “habitual offender” Malaysia has been promoted to Tier 2 of the United States State Department’s annual trafficking of persons rankings.
FMT Reporters | August 3, 2015
Washington Post says situation described as “grim as ever”.
KUALA LUMPUR: Describing the situation in Malaysia as “grim as ever”, the Washington Post has expressed “surprise” that “habitual offender” Malaysia has been promoted to Tier 2 of the United States State Department’s annual trafficking of persons rankings.
“Malaysia does not deserve congratulations,” the Post claims. “It deserves the kind of censure that will force it to change.”
The Post hinted that the promotion may have been for economic expediency. “Had Malaysia remained in Tier 3, it could not have participated in the Trans-Pacific Partnership,” it claimed.
It goes on to claim that the discovery in May of mass graves of suspected trafficked persons had not been taken into account as it only came to light after the reporting deadline.
Malaysia’s promotion to Tier 2 simply reflects the fact that she has made “concrete commitments” towards compliance, the Post notes. It does not mean the State Department thinks the country is tough enough on human trafficking.
Among those commitments, the report cites steps toward justice, a reformed victim protection regime and an increased number of prosecutions as justifying the promotion.
Yet, Malaysia’s human rights abuses in the past year, however, exceed the bounds of trafficking, the Post claims.
“Prime Minister Najib Razak has been cracking down on civil freedoms to stay in power since losing the popular vote in a 2013 election. Political protesters cannot demonstrate freely. LGBT Malaysians get unfair judgment in sharia courts. This year, opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim was thrown in prison on trumped-up sodomy charges,” writes the Post.
The article claims that some two million Malaysian workers are forced into unpaid labour. In addition countless refugees from nearby countries flee to Malaysia, it says. Many young girls become “domestic workers” and are subject to miserable conditions and often sexual assault. Other refugees end up in Malaysian trafficking camps.