Friday, December 28, 2007

Syed Hamid: Be wary of foreigners

The Star - 28/12/2007

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia has to be more aware of the people coming into the country, Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar said.

He said this was because foreigners were behind all cases of Malaysian women being detained overseas for drug trafficking.

“The syndicates, all headed by foreigners, are operating out of here. We must not allow our people be made use of in this manner.

“We want to encourage tourism but we have to be aware of these people,” he said.

He was speaking to reporters after opening the Bumiputra Factory and Industrial Services Association's annual general meeting.

Syed Hamid said many of the women involved in the cases did not know what they were getting themselves into and were blinded by the promise of making lots of money.

“Some who did know what they were doing might have assumed that other countries do not have the death sentence for trafficking or smuggling drugs,” he said.

“I have been briefed on more than 50 cases, many involving women in their 20s.”

Syed Hamid said the countries Malaysians had been caught in included Australia, New Zealand, Venezuela and China.

“As for the case involving Umi Azlim Mohamad Lazim in China, my ministry is in contact with her family and we are trying to provide whatever assistance possible,” he said.


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