Don’t use national interest as excuse, Suaram tells Khalid

  • Nation
  • Tuesday, 01 Apr 2008

PETALING JAYA: Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim was told not to use national interest as an excuse for proposing to collect RM9 a month for each foreign worker from employers.

He had proposed that the money collected be used to re-train unemployed youths.

Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram) executive director Yap Swee Seng said Khalid should not use such rhetoric when dealing with criticisms of his move.

“Such rhetoric by the Mentri Besar is most discouraging and regresses to language commonly known to be associated with the Barisan Nasional government.

“We would like to remind him that the protection of human rights is the foremost obligation of every government and national interest cannot be used as an excuse to shirk off responsibilities to protect fundamental human rights based on universal principles,” he said in the statement.

He said while Suaram welcomed Khalid's good intentions to reduce reliance on migrant workers and to train unemployed youths, they were of the opinion that the levy would not provide any substantial solution to the problem.

On Saturday, following criticisms by Suaram, Khalid replied by urging the activist group to take a more national approach to the issue and not attack the state government.

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