Anifah: Irene Fernandez’s statement born out of ignorance
BONGAWAN (Sabah), May 15 — The Foreign Ministry regards the damaging and dangerous statement by Tenaganita executive director Irene Fernandez on the safety of Indonesian migrant workers in Malaysia to be born out of ignorance.
Its minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman said Fernandez’s statement could jeopardise the good relations between Malaysia and Indonesia, including causing anger among Indonesians towards Malaysia.
“As a Malaysian citizen, she should find the best solution for both countries if she truly loves Malaysia. Instead, she tarnished Malaysia’s image in another country,” he said after the handing-over of bicycles at Sekolah Kebangsaan Mandahan, here, today.
Anifah said he and his Indonesian counterpart agreed to leave it to Indonesia to deal with the situation if the problem of safety of Malaysians in Indonesia arose following Fernandez’s controversial statement.
He said the Malaysian government was confident that the Indonesian authorities were capable of ensuring the safety of Malaysians there.
He was commenting on a Jakarta Post interview with Fernandez published by the newspaper on May 7 which, among others, claimed that Malaysia was not a safe place for Indonesian migrant workers as there was no specific law to protect the welfare of migrant workers.
In another development, Anifah said he had yet to hear of action to be taken by Saudi Arabia against Malaysians who broke the law by staging Bersih demonstrations in Mecca and Medina on April 28.
“We respect Saudi Arabian law and the actions they need to take (against Malaysians who broke their law).
“But I’m concerned that among the demonstrators were Malaysian students studying in the Holy Land,” he said.
Anifah said he was also worried that the staging of the Bersih demonstration there would tarnish the image of Malaysia and its Haj pilgrims, whose exemplary conduct had been praised by the Saudi Arabian government all this while.
Earlier, Anifah handed over 150 bicycles from the Sabah Oil and Gas Terminal to six schools, namely SK Kimanis, SK Pekan Kimanis, SK Mandahan, SK Belatik, SK Sumbiling and SMK Bongawan 2 for their needy students.
Anifah, who is also Kimanis member of parliament, also gave a contribution of RM5,000 to the SK Mandahan Parent-Teacher Association fund. — Bernama