SUNGAI PETANI: The Government has formed a special committee to monitor foreign students and tourists who engage in immoral activities, including prostitution, during their stay in the country.
This follows the rising number of complaints from various quarters on foreign students and tourists' involvement in immoral activities.
Deputy Home Minister Datuk Chor Chee Heung said he was recently entrusted by Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to chair the committee comprising representatives from the education and immigration departments, local governments and police.
“The committee will hold its first meeting on Wednesday to find ways to solve the problem and make recommendations to the Home Ministry for further action,” he said.
He said that of late, many wives had complained that their husbands were having affairs with foreign students.
“We also heard that foreign tourists and students from China, who had come in big numbers, were working at karaoke joints and other entertainment outlets as guest relations officers to earn extra money. This will indirectly lead to immoral activities,” he said.
Chor said there were also complaints of tourists from certain countries who had come on one-month social visits but were involved in prostitution to earn extra income.
He said foreign students were not allowed to be employed while studying here, more so in the sex trade.
“While they (foreign students) are here, we want to make sure they study, pass their examinations and go back without getting involved in immoral activities,” he said.
Chor said that over the last three to four years, the country had seen a steady increase in foreign student intakes in institutions of higher learning, like the International Islamic University.
“We gain foreign exchange and it is in line with the government’s objective to make Malaysia the centre of higher learning in Asia. But we will not allow the country’s image to be tarnished by undesirable elements,” he told reporters here after launching the housing ownership plan Hunza Golden Plan, jointly introduced by Hunza Properties Kedah Sdn Bhd and American International Assurance Company.
Chor said the new committee would gather statistics on foreign students in the country.
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