Bad dhimmis! Don’t you know by now that criticism is a one-way street? “US may alienate Muslims on human trade: Malaysia,” from Reuters:
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia dismissed yesterday possible US sanctions over human trafficking and warned Washington of alienating Muslims after it blacklisted mostly Islamic countries.
“We are not bothered about…the sanctions,” Foreign Minister Syed Hamid Albar
said. “I don’t think we need to respond to that sort of pressure.”
“The US really needs to be friendly to Muslim countries,” he told retired Malaysian diplomats. “This is not a good development as they have just appointed a special envoy to OIC.” Malaysia heads the 57-nation Organisation of Islamic Conference.
US President George W Bush said last week in a speech to mark the 50th
anniversary of the Islamic Centre in Washington that the appointment would demonstrate to
Muslim communities “our interest in respectful dialogue and continued friendship”.
In its annual report on human trafficking published last month, the US State
Department named 16 countries subjected to possible sanctions, including the loss of US aid
and US support for World Bank and International Monetary Fund loans. Syed Hamid said
Malaysia would introduce a new law soon to prevent human trafficking.
“In Malaysia’s case, we do not need to be apologetic,” he said. “We have moved
to the right direction. The law against human trafficking is going to be passed by parliament in this current session.”
Still, Indonesia and other countries that supply most of the workers say Malaysia has not done enough. In May, Kuala Lumpur ruled out laws to enforce better working
conditions for foreign maids.
Asked if laws were needed to specify working conditions for the maids, Home Minister Radzi Sheikh Ahmad said: “We cannot have maids having a holiday, weekends off.
It’s up to the employers to give time to the maids to rest.”
With Malaysians reluctant to take up menial jobs, the country is one of Asia’s
largest importers of foreign labour, which makes up a quarter of a workforce of about 10.5 mn, particularly on plantations, in construction and as maids.
Malaysians got a harrowing glimpse into the treatment of some domestic workers
when newspapers reported the death in April of an Indian migrant worker after eight months of being beaten, chained up and starved by his employers in a sauce business. India and Malaysia are hammering out a draft agreement to ensure better protection for Indian workers in Malaysia.
Although the southeast Asian nation does not employ maids from India, many
Indian workers who take up jobs in construction and manufacturing in Malaysia say employers
change their contract terms after they have begun their jobs.
Human rights group have long urged Malaysia to plug loopholes in labour and
immigration laws that expose migrant workers to the risk of abuse and exploitation by
employers and recruiters.
Indonesian maids in Malaysia often work a gruelling 16 to 18 hours a day, seven
days a week, and earn less than 25 U.S. cents an hour, U.S. group Human Rights Watch has