Lincoln Corner Kedah Hosts Political Officer Jennifer Spande for Discussion on Trafficking in Persons

Jennifer Spande (seated, third from left) with TIP Seminar Participants. (U.S. Embassy photo)
Jennifer Spande (seated, third from left) with TIP Seminar Participants. (U.S. Embassy photo)

On April 14, about 40 participants, including about 20 police, customs, and immigration officials and a Kedah state assemblyman attended a talk on Trafficking in Persons by U.S. Embassy Political Officer Jennifer Spande.  A lively discussion ensued after the participants asked Jennifer about Malaysia’s tier ranking in recent years, including specifics on waivers for Tier Two Watch list status and U.S. actions to resettle refugees currently in Malaysia. Reflecting the challenge of changing attitudes about passport retention, some government officials privately defended the widespread practice of employers holding workers’ passports. The event also gave Jennifer a better understanding of the situation in Malaysia where foreign workers are also known to disappear without fulfilling their contracts.