KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 10 — Malaysia has called for strong cooperation among all Asean countries to curb human trafficking and smuggling of illegal immigrants in the region.

Asean Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA) member, Senator Tan Sri Dr Ibrahim Shah Abu Shah said collaboration was needed in order to strengthen and improve enforcement, especially at the region’s borders.

“We need cooperation from all Asean countries, like the governments of Indonesia and Thailand.

“If we look at the illegal immigrant issue, the focus of the activities is more towards Malaysia in Asean,” he told reporters after attending a committee meeting pertaining to the joint statement in conjunction with the 36th AIPA General Assembly, here, today.

He, however, acknowledged that effective enforcement was not an easy task due to the vast border areas in the Asean region.

Referring to the discovery of mass graves in Wang Kelian, Perlis, Ibrahim said Asean needed to find an approach that focused more on humanitarian factors to ensure that human trafficking activities could be effectively resolved.

“There should be a humanitarian factor, we should not only think of protecting our country from illegal immigrants, but we also have to think of their fate,” he said.

The four-day gathering which began on Tuesday themed ‘Engaging a People-Oriented, People-Centred Asean Community Towards Inclusiveness’ is being attended by 314 parliamentarians in Asean. — Bernama

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