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Home Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin in Parliament, December 16, 2021. — Bernama pic
Home Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin in Parliament, December 16, 2021. — Bernama pic

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KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 16 — The Anti-Trafficking in Persons and Anti-Smuggling of Migrants (Amendment) Bill 2021, which was approved by the Dewan Rakyat yesterday, will be tabled in the Dewan Negara next week, said Home Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin.

He said the tabling of the bill would be expedited so that it could be approved and enforced as soon as possible.

“This is to avoid a recurrence of boat capsize tragedies involving immigrants in our waters, like the one that happened in Kota Tinggi yesterday.

“If possible, this bill (law) will be used as early as next year,” he told reporters at the Bersatu headquarters here today.

The Anti-Trafficking in Persons and Anti-Smuggling of Migrants (Amendment) Bill 2021, which was approved unanimously after a debate by 18 MPs, provides for heavier jail sentences for several offences.

Hamzah said yesterday’s tragedy in Tanjung Balau, Kota Tinggi showed that many foreigners wanted to enter Malaysia to look for jobs.

He said this caused some immigrants to fall victim to irresponsible parties.

“With this law, we will punish those who try to bring in people illegally, whether as foreign workers or forced labour,” said Hamzah, who is Bersatu secretary-general.

So far, the bodies of 19 victims of the boat capsize have been recovered while 17 others are believed to be still missing. — Bernama

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