Malaysian Government, MTUC, ICFTU & ILO Must Stop Sickening Exploitation of Migrant Workers

Media Statement
M. Kula Segaran

(Ipoh, Friday): We know that one of the features of globalization is the mass migration of workers across borders in search of jobs. As a guest for better social and economic opportunities, there is nothing wrong with that. After all, highly educated and qualified men and women have been doing that for a long time already. As a matter of fact, many personnel working at the United Nation and other international organizations are migrant workers. 

It is a fact that we need foreign workers. Whether they are here as legally registered or illegal workers, their role as workers and their work must be recognized, appreciated and valued and respected.


So far as illegal foreign workers are concerned, they should be made legal. It is hypocritical of us to say that they are illegal and therefore are not entitled to the rights of the workers. If they are illegal and we employ them, we too are doing the illegal act. But all the same, their work must be respected and paid fairly.


However, an ugly fact has emerged in recent years, and it is still with us, and increasingly so in Malaysia.


There has been recent epidemic of sickening revelations in Malaysia that hundreds, if not thousands, of foreign workers, both legal and illegal, have been grossly and inhumanely exploited and cheated by unscrupulous employers. Many of them have been left high and dry and penniless.


Many of them have not been paid their wages for work done for months. When they complained, they were sacked, thus losing their work permits and becoming illegal. This is not only unethical; it is the tactic of crooks which must be condemned by all fair-minded Malaysians.


Such criminal practices by some employers are in fact giving a very bad name to Malaysian industry and Malaysia herself.


We in the DAP would like to call on the Malaysian Government, the MTUC, the  International Labour Organiztion and the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions to act separately as well as jointly to stop this terrible exploitations of labour across borders.


Those people who criminally cheat on foreign workers must be made to pay severely for their crimes against humanity. For their crime not only add to human misery, they are disgusting acts which cannot be tolerated in any civilized society.




* M. Kula Segaran, MP for Ipoh Barat, and DAP National Vice Chairman