Immigration Dept seeking Bangladesh national who appeared in Al Jazeera’s documentary

Khairul Dzaimee warned yesterday that foreign nationals who make inaccurate statements aimed at 'damaging Malaysia’s image' will face possible revocation of their passes. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
Khairul Dzaimee warned yesterday that foreign nationals who make inaccurate statements aimed at 'damaging Malaysia’s image' will face possible revocation of their passes. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, July 7 — The Immigration Department has circulated a notice today seeking public information on a Bangladeshi national to be investigated under the Immigration Act 1959/1963.

In its notice today, the Immigration Department provided the name of the 25-year-old man, his passport number and his last known address in Kuala Lumpur, urging for the public to contact the department with any information they could provide to assist in the investigations.

The man was among those quoted by Al Jazeera in its recent 101 East documentary, and his personal details have since been circulated by Malaysians online who are angry with the critical report which carried allegations of mistreatment of migrant workers in Malaysia.

Yesterday, the company which had previously contracted his services disassociated itself with him, calling his views “biased” and pledging cooperation with authorities.

The company asserted that the man never worked as its employee, adding that the man’s statements were his own personal views and did not reflect the company’s stand.

Describing the man’s remarks in the documentary as “damaging”, the company said it disagreed and opposed his views, while also emphasising its respect and pride for Malaysia and saying that it would not tolerate any negative or defamatory comments against the country.

The Immigration Department’s notice today comes as Immigration director-general Datuk Khairul Dzaimee Daud warned yesterday that foreign nationals who make inaccurate statements aimed at “damaging Malaysia’s image” will face possible revocation of their passes.

Khairul Dzaimee said the Al Jazeera documentary on immigration operations during the movement control order was inaccurate, pointing out that the Malaysian government had provided free treatment to 773 foreigners in immigration depots who tested positive for Covid-19 and had been praised by foreign embassies for doing so.

On July 3, Qatar-based news channel Al Jazeera released a 25.50 minute-long documentary titled “Locked up in Malaysia’s lockdown” regarding undocumented migrant workers in Malaysia.

On July 5, Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba said the allegations of the Malaysian authorities’ discrimination against undocumented migrants was incorrect, saying that measures taken to detect Covid-19 was applied to all regardless of whether they were citizens or not.

Yesterday, Home Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainuddin said the authorities had merely acted in line with the public’s wish for all living in Malaysia to comply with local laws, including for foreigners to have the necessary permit and valid documents to be allowed to work here.

Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob yesterday also said that the Al Jazeera documentary was malicious and had carried false allegations of purported wrongful detainment of illegal migrants in areas under that were placed under the enhanced movement control order (EMCO), pointing out that the same movement restrictions and government-paid Covid-19 screening during the EMCO applied to both locals and foreigners alike.

Ismail Sabri had also clarified that the Malaysian government gave the same treatment to foreigners regardless of whether they had official documentation or were without proper documents, by screening and treating them for Covid-19.

But he also pointed out that undocumented migrants that tested negative for Covid-19 or recover would still be undocumented and would be treated as such by authorities, while also accusing Al Jazeera of fabricating lies and clarified that migrant children were not handcuffed but were instead kept with their parents in detention centres.

According to Al Jazeera, Hamzah, Ismail Sabri and their deputies had not responded to requests for interviews.

The police have initiated investigations over the Al Jazeera documentary, with Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Abdul Hamid Bador saying today that police would be calling up those involved in the documentary for further questioning.

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