Nov 23, 2006

Tan Chai Ho got "roasted" by other BN MPs in Parliament

(The Sun) KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 23, 2006): Deputy Home Minister Datuk Tan Chai Ho was given a "roasting" by parliamentarians for his inept replies to questions on the influx of illegal immigrants.

They laughed and booed in Parliament today when Tan was replying to their queries on why the government had failed to flush out and round up the illegals.

Markiman Kobiran (BN-Hulu Langat), a robbery victim early this month, started "firing" at Tan when the latter started explaining the measures taken by the authorities to control the security and social impact from the influx of foreign workers.

"All the measures have totally failed. My house was burglarised twice, till today no one was nabbed," Markiman said in his supplementary question, adding that the government should record information on all foreign workers.

Tan replied that the biometric system in use now is very effective to trace foreign workers who broke the law.

"Law-breakers will not be allowed into the country anymore," he added.

This irritated Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing (BN-Bintulu) who retorted: "Your answer is an old answer. Alor Star MP (former Deputy Home Minister Datuk Chor Chee Heung) also gave the same answer last time.

"The biometric and other systems could not be used at all."

The House burst into laughter.

Tiong said foreign pimps had returned to his constituency although they were earlier nabbed and repatriated.

"The pimps returned within two weeks with new passports. Why is the immigration not paying attention to this problem?

"Why don't we have a thumb-print system? I want to know what are the new approaches (to be taken by the authorities). The biometric system could not be used at all!"

Unfazed, Tan said the biometric system was launched last year and thus it had nothing to do with Chor.

"What you said, not appropriate. Alor Star (MP) is no longer with the ministry. So your allegation that the answer given by him was the same as mine is untrue," he said amid boos in the House.

Tan explained that the biometric system would not be very effective if foreigners came in illegally.

"Therefore, we need to tighten the security at all the checkpoints to check the illegals ... We also take steps to nab many illegal workers," he added.

Tiong, who tried to protest, was stopped by Deputy Speaker Datuk Dr Yusof Yacob.

To an original question by Huan Cheng Guan (BN-Batu Kawan), Tan said the government was aware that the presence of 1,895,243 foreign workers in the country had raised security concerns.

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