Huazong calls for setting up of ‘special committee’ to rescue Malaysians held captive by human trafficking syndicates

KOTA KINABALU: The Federation of Chinese Associations Malaysia (Huazong) has urged the government to quickly set up an inter-departmental special committee, to assist Malaysians who were scammed and held captive by international human trafficking syndicates, and to bring them home, as soon as possible.

Urging this was its President, Tan Sri T.C Goh while speaking at the swearing-in ceremony of the 9th Executive Committee of Jihe Shan She, the humanitarian arm of Che Shui Khor Moral Uplifting Society here, last Sunday. Also present at the occasion were Jihe Shan She’s Advisor, Datuk Lau Kok Sing and members of the Executive Committee led by its President, Tai Yin Kiong. Goh was also officially appointed as Jihe Shan She’s Honorary Advisor at the occasion.

Goh was obviously responding to the recent media reports that, more than 50 Malaysians are being held captive in Cambodia, Myanmar, Vietnam and Thailand by online scam syndicates.

He also urged the victims and their family members to contact the police and the relevant government agencies, and to provide them with the necessary information, so that they could act accordingly to rescue the victims and bring them home safely.

Goh who is also President of the Federation of Chinese Associations Sabah (FCAS) said it was believed that, since last year, many Chinese youths had fallen prey to some international human-trafficking syndicates which used ‘high salary’ jobs in overseas to entice them. Among the victims were Chinese youths from Sabah.

“Recently, following the media reports of the victims’ plight, although the government and the police managed to rescue and bring home some of them via diplomatic channels, it is nonetheless believed that currently there are still some Malaysians being held captive by online scam syndicates to carry out illegal activities, and they are waiting to be rescued, ” he said.

While expressing his sympathy for the victims and their families, Goh opined that this issue essentially raised the question of why these Malaysians were willing to take the risks to leave the country, and their family and loved ones to seek for greener pastures in other countries, probably for the same reason as the 300,000 Malaysians who went to work in the neighbouring Singapore.

He underscored that whether the reason for Malaysians seeking employments outside the country is to earn the high exchange rate of Singapore dollar (at SGD 1: RM 3), or for a higher monthly salary of RM7,000 – RM8,000, as compared to the meager pay back home, the crux of the matter is that, it involved Malaysians of all races, the young generations especially, Chinese youths included, and it certainly warrants great concern of the Chinese community.

He also attributed the devastating economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and the various restrictions which entailed, as the other reason for Malaysians falling prey to online scam syndicates, as they were desperate for jobs to make a living and to feed their family.

He thus hoped that with the Covid-19 situation having improved, the economy of the country too could recover speedily, so that there will be more job opportunities for Malaysians, and they may no longer need to leave the country and their family to work in foreign countries.

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