NGOs, parties say Irene Fernandez has tarnished nation’s image
KUALA LUMPUR, May 9 — A number of non-governmental organisations and political parties today slammed Tenaganita executive director Irene Fernandez for tarnishing Malaysia’s image through the Indonesian media.
They also called on the government and police to take stern action against Fernandez including closing Tenaganita, as it could continue to be a virus that hurts Malaysia’s reputation.
Ikatan Rakyat Insan Muslim Malaysia (IRIMM), Amir Amsaa Alla Pitchay said Fernandez’s action was that of a traitor to the country as it could adversely affect Malaysia-Indonesia relations.
“If you want to criticise your own country that way, better not stay in Malaysia and not even eat here,” he said at a press conference, which was also attended by representatives of Dewan Ekonomi dan Sosial Muslim Malaysia (DESMMA), Pertubuhan Kebajikan dan Dakwah Islamiah Malaysia (Pekida), Ampang branch of the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) and MIC Wangsa Maju division.
The Jakarta Post had on Monday reported that Fernandez claimed, among others, Malaysia was not safe for Indonesian workers because it did not have a legal framework or specific law to protect migrant workers.
She was also reported to have said that it was not in the Royal Malaysian Police’s power to shoot three Indonesian nationals who were house-breaking and robbery suspects in an incident in Port Dickson recently.
DESMMA president, Mohd Fazil Abdullah said Fernandez was more willing to run down her own country than feeling proud of having a peaceful country like Malaysia.
“More than two million Indonesians work in Malaysia and if the problems mentioned by her are so serious, they would not continue to come here to earn a living.
“Malaysia is still a peaceful place to earn a living compared to some other countries. If there are problems, they should not be blown out of proportion because she (Fernandez) should investigate first.
“Don’t simply make accusations because the number of problematic Indonesian workers is small,” he said.
Mohd Fazil regards Fernandez as being ungrateful for making such allegations against the Malaysian police as they have kept the country peaceful for more than 200 years, and she herself had benefited from a safe environment due to a police presence in the past.
The NGOs and political parties present at the press conference also demanded that Fernandez retract her statement and to apologise to Malaysians. — Bernama