PUTRAJAYA, Dec 21, 2015:
Malaysia will work closely with the United States of America to create more jobs for victims of human trafficking.
Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi thanked the US for its initiative through the JW Marriott Hotel, which had already created 30 jobs.
Ahmad Zahid had earlier presented JW Marriott Hotel with a certificate of appreciation for giving jobs to four victims of human trafficking (3 Indonesians and a Laos national) and for creating 26 more jobs that is yet to be filled.
“I would like to commend the US embassy that helped in creating 30 jobs for these victims.
“We will urge Malaysian employers to follow suit and show equal commitment to help out.
“I would like to thank all ministries and the US for the help and cooperation,” he said after chairing the first Anti-Trafficking in Persons and Anti-Smuggling of Migrants (Mapo) high level committee meeting here today.
The meeting was attended by new members of Mapo, from the Defence Ministry, Ministry of International Trade and Industry, Health Ministry, Youth and Sports Ministry and Ministry of Plantation Industries and Commodities.
Joseph Y. Yun, the current US Ambassador to Malaysia, who also attended the meeting, praised Malaysia for its work to help victims of human trafficking.
“It’s good to see senior ministers here and I would like to convey Washington’s appreciation for the meeting.
“We worked on this project for some time with the Malaysian government and we hope that this project could be expended.”
Yun was present to discuss better steps and the next course of action for the country to better its performance in the US annual human trafficking report in 2016.
Ahmad Zahid reiterated Malaysia’s commitment to stamping out human trafficking.
He said part of the programme with the US was to increase cooperation with other countries to combat human trafficking.
“We want to climb to Tier 1 in the US annual human trafficking report by 2020.”
He said police had carried out 67 investigations with the help of their Thailand counterparts, on the human trafficking camps that were found in Malaysia and Thailand.
“Six people were identified and not one of them were Malaysians (5 Thais and a Myanmar national).
“We want to tell the international community that our commitment is clear and we will ask Thailand to help us prosecute those people here in Malaysia.
“This will put to rest international allegations that we are not doing our work to address the issue.”
Ahmad Zahid said 2, 217 human trafficking victims had been given shelter and given approval for work in the country.