Non-governmental associations (NGO) should engage with Putrajaya on human rights issues rather than just criticise and protest, Datuk Paul Low said today.
BY YAP TZU GING | Tuesday March 24, 2015 | 11:45 AM GMT+8
KUALA LUMPUR, March 24 — Non-governmental associations (NGO) should engage with Putrajaya on human rights issues rather than just criticise and protest, Datuk Paul Low said today.
In a speech here an event by the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia, Low said that Putrajaya was available to NGOs and is ready to discuss issues such as human trafficking with them.
“The government is prepared to engage actively with the NGOs, in terms of having dialogue with them and also in terms of bringing them as partners to solve some of the problems,” said the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department.
“Things that affect people, like human trafficking…Especially those areas you got to go down to the field like shelters, making sure shelters are properly run and no abuses. Do not just be activists or armchair critics.”
He added that the government can assist NGOs in giving financial resources but they also have to be accountable in using them.
“Government is just an administrator. We need people who have passion to look after victims, they (NGOs) can do better in this aspect,” Low said.
Putrajaya has been criticised by several Pakatan Rakyat lawmakers in Penang for not taking human trafficking issues seriously, in light of the death of 24 foreigners linked to human trafficking syndicates.
Bayan Baru MP Sim Tze Tzin said the Federal Government should strengthen the border security and fencing.
He was disappointed because it put Malaysia in bad light on the World Watch List.
“Malaysia is already on the list for human trafficking, child labour and forced labour.”
Sim said foreign workers were usually lured by good pay but then were cheated, had their passports confiscated and lived in poor conditions.
Many industries used forced labour, which Sim said was against human rights.