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Malaysia probes circumstances of migrant employees left jobless, with out passports

KUALA LUMPUR, April 20 (Reuters) – Malaysia has launched an investigation to uncover how a whole lot of migrant employees arrived from South Asia with out jobs, regardless of having paid steep charges to get employment, officers and rights teams stated.

The difficulty revives issues over labor abuses in Malaysia, a key manufacturing hub on the coronary heart of the worldwide provide chain that has confronted a number of accusations in recent times of over exploitation of employees.

A whole lot of employees from Bangladesh and Nepal have arrived since December after paying as much as 20,000 ringgit ($4,500) to middlemen to get employment, officers of two rights teams who interviewed dozens of the employees advised Reuters.

Many took loans to pay recruitment charges, however have been unable to start out repaying them with out jobs or salaries, the activists stated, besides that on arrival, their passports had been taken away by recruitment brokers.

“These employees are at excessive danger of pressured labor and extreme destitution,” stated unbiased labor activist Andy Corridor, whose crew has been involved with migrant employees.

Their plight was worsened by components reminiscent of debt bondage, poor residing circumstances, isolation and restricted freedom of motion after their passports have been confiscated, he added.

The Worldwide Labor Group ranks deception, together with debt bondage stemming from the massive recruitment payment, and passport seizure amongst its indicators of ‘pressured labour’.

The Malaysian authorities is investigating the matter, stated Asri Rahman, the overall director of its labor division, however declined to offer particulars till completion of the inquiry.

Final week, V. Sivakumar, the minister for human assets, visited a gaggle of 226 Bangladeshi and Nepali employees who had been within the Southeast Asian nation for 40 days with out the roles they’d been promised.

He described as “appalling” the crowded lodging of the employees, and vowed to search out them jobs on the earliest, however didn’t determine the supplier of the amenities.


The investigation comes because the five-month-old authorities of Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim cracks down on corruption and appears to sort out labor abuse.

Two of Sivakumar’s aids have been arrested by anti-graft authorities this month over an investigation into recruitment of international employees. He too was questioned, and has promised to co-operate.

Malaysia has confronted accusations of pressured labor in manufacturing and palm oil manufacturing over time, together with some by america, which banned imports from a number of of its corporations for such practices.

Bangladesh – a key supply of migrants for Malaysia – referred to as for extra transparency by Kuala Lumpur to forestall its residents from being cheated of jobs.

“If the Malaysian authorities’s approval course of for hiring international employees is clear, not a single employee ought to be unemployed,” its Excessive Fee, or embassy, ​​in Malaysia stated in a Fb put up on Saturday.

The excessive fee stated it compelled an employer to offer jobs for among the migrants, whereas nonetheless working to get jobs for the others.

A Bangladeshi official, talking on situation of anonymity, advised Reuters there have been a “few hundred” of its residents caught in Malaysia with out jobs.

The Nepal embassy stated it was working to search out employment for a gaggle of 125 of its residents who had been left equally stranded, and had additionally acquired such complaints from others.

($1=4.4300 ringgit)

Reporting by A. Ananthalakshmi and Rozanna Latiff; Further reporting by Ruma Paul in Dhaka; Modifying by Clarence Fernandez

Our Requirements: The Thomson Reuters Belief Ideas.


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