BY AZURA ABAS – 23 FEBRUARY 2015 @ 1:47 PM
PUTRAJAYA: Malaysia has never slackened its efforts to combat human trafficking at its shore using every means possible as provided by relevant laws.
Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi stressed this to United Nations’ special Rapporteur on Trafficking in Persons Especially Women and Children Maria Grazia Giammarinaro during a meeting today.
"The issue of human trafficking in fact has been raised several times in the Cabinet and we will further strengthen ATIPSOM (Anti-Trafficking in Persons and Anti-Smuggling of Migrants Act 2007) by making several amendments which will be tabled in Parliament in the upcoming sitting next month," he told reporters.
Among the amendments were to address the complexity of the issue at hand from the legal and enforcement perspectives.
The minister said 752 cases had been investigated under ATIPSOM 2007 between Feb 28, 2008 and Dec 31, last year.
Zahid added he had briefed Giammarinaro that the ministry had also conducted four high-level meetings on the issue of human trafficking with the participation from five other ministries namely- Foreign Ministry; Women, Family and Community Development Ministry; Transport Ministry; Human Resources Ministry as well as Communications and Multimedia Ministry.
"These meetings are to coordinate enforcement efforts and resolve issues that may crop up when combat human trafficking," he said.
Malaysia, he said, also worked closely with neighbouring countries in the struggle to stop human trafficking especially when Malaysia had been one of the most attractive destinations for such traffickers.
Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi (2nd from right) with United Nations’ special Rapporteur on Trafficking in Persons Especially Women and Children Maria Grazia Giammarinaro (left) during a meeting at Putrajaya. Also present are Deputy Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar (right) and deputy secretary-general (operations) Datuk Seri Adenan Ab. Rahman (left). Pix by AHMAD IRHAM MOHD NOOR