A migrant rights activist says the company director, manager or officer involved must be charged and blacklisted.
PETALING JAYA: A migrant rights activist has urged the government to ensure adequate compensation for 171 Bangladeshi migrant workers duped into coming to Malaysia for jobs that did not exist.
Andy Hall said the workers, who were arrested by police in Pengerang, Johor, last month after taking part in a march to file a police report, were deceived into paying high recruitment fees back home for non-existent jobs.
“They should be fully compensated at minimum wage levels for the months spent waiting for a non-existent job promised to them. They should also have all recruitment costs and related fees paid by them in Bangladesh fully returned to them, with interest.
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“In addition, these workers should also be fully compensated for their suffering from the destitution they have experienced as a result of their unemployment and isolation, akin to a situation of forced labour,” he said in a statement.
Hall also said the company director, manager or officer involved must be charged and blacklisted by the home and human resources ministries.
“It is insufficient to merely blacklist legal entities or companies,” he said, citing a joint statement by home minister Saifuddin Nasution Ismail and human resources minister Steven Sim earlier today.
Saifuddin and Sim said their ministries viewed the case in Pengerang seriously and would not compromise with any party involved in foreign worker exploitation. They agreed that the employers must face legal action under several laws, including the law against human trafficking.
The employers would be blacklisted from new foreign worker employment applications, their remaining migrant worker quotas and approval letters would be cancelled, and they would be prevented from renewing work permits for existing foreign workers.