JOHOR BHARU: They were initially promised employment as hotel staff with a salary of about RM3,000 a month in Singapore, but found themselves sent to work elsewhere in the republic.
Even their passports were taken away from them, thereby effecting limiting their movement, and their ability to return home.
Many people from Sarawak have fallen victim to this employment scam, but the Johor Borneo association said there was nothing much it could do, nor bring the matter up to the police due to a lack of evidence.
Its chairman, Donny Linan, said the association had received many complaints from Sarawakians who were being cheated.
“The complaints are made by those who were able to escape and most of them are in their 20s and 30s,” he told Bernama here recently.
Donny said the mastermind in some of the cases were Sarawakians themselves, who went into the interiors of the state, offering employment opportunities in various sectors in Singapore to local residents there.
“The young people, especially Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) school leavers who have never left home, are easily taken in by this, especially with the promise of good salary as they can help their families.
“With a salary offer of between RM2,000 and RM4,000 a month, young people would easily jump for it,” he added.
He said about 80% of those who lodged complaints of being cheated with job offers in Singapore were from Kapit and the association had helped to send them home.
He said there were about 35,000 Sarawakians working and residing in Johor.
As such, we are opening a Sarawak Information Centre in Pasir Gudang to look after their interests, he said, adding that the centre would begin operations on July 9.
Donny, who is a civil servant, said the centre, to be jointly run by the Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party (SPDP), would provide information on job offers in Singapore, for Sarawak-born people, as well as act as middleman to help resolve their problems, should they fall victims to job scams.
“This will indirectly reduce cases of Sarawak people being cheated of jobs in Singapore,” he added