I condemn the Executive Order by US President Donald Trump which bars the entry of individuals from certain Muslim-majority countries.
As has been argued by its critics, the ban is illegal, inhumane and downright racist. It has also, as media reports indicate resulted in individuals with valid papers being detained at several American airports, although a few have been released. This in turn has sparked protests by Americans understandably outraged by their government’s cruelty.
As such, I welcome a recent decision by the US Federal judge Ann Donnelly preventing the government from deporting immigrants currently detained in the airports. I express my support and solidarity for the various on-going efforts in the US to remove the ban completely.
I also call on the United Nations (UN) and all the civilised nations of the world to come together to pressure the Trump administration to drop this heartless action.
While every country has a right to regulate its borders, this move does nothing to make the US or any country in the world more secure. Indeed, it exacerbates the divide between the US and Muslim world. This in turn helps extremist groups and their hateful agendas to thrive.
Trump has also ironically weakened America’s safety by removing the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Director of National Intelligence from regular attendance at the US National Security Council (NSC). He has instead given a seat to his senior advisor Stephen K Bannon, a former pseudo-journalist who has had a history of questionable beliefs and rhetoric.
The timing of the so-called “Muslim ban” is hence highly suspect in light of the above facts.
America and the world is less safe as a result of these developments.
I urge Prime Minister Najib Razak-who is reportedly a golfing companion of Trump and who congratulated him on his election-to state whether he support’s the President’s actions.
I also urge that the MPs of the Federal Parliament to convene an urgent meeting to discuss how Malaysia should react to the ban and what actions we can take to assist refugees who might be adversely impacted.
This is also a moment for Malaysia-in the midst of our outrage- to take stock about how we treat the refugees and immigrants among us. This includes our government’s continued refusal to sign the 1951 UN Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees 1951 and the 1967 Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees.
While we must condemn injustice, we must also make sure that it does not exist in our own backyards.