Call to allow Rohingya refugees to work legally

Source: FMT News

MP Charles Santiago and rights group say the government should at least take care of the basic rights of the refugees already here.

MP Charles Santiago and rights group say the government should at least take care of the basic rights of the refugees already here.

PETALING JAYA: With the number of refugees in Malaysia on the rise, it is high time the government ensures their basic human rights are protected.

A member of parliament and a rights organisation said, instead of bringing in foreign workers, these refugees should be given the jobs.

Klang MP Charles Santiago said the government should help those seeking refuge here with a chance at a normal life while waiting for permanent placements.

He described the government’s current management of the refugees as “poor”, due to the fact that most of them were destitute.

Santiago said how their presence would affect the country depended greatly on the way the situation was handled.

“Now, the cost to support these refugees is borne by the government and the people. But what the government can do is to get the refugees who are already here to work in service centres or in plantations.

“All they need is some basic education and some caring from the companies or the government itself.

“It would be good for the country as doing this is cheaper than bringing in more migrant workers,” he told FMT. Read more

Foreign worker issue needs intervention

Source: The Star Online

Technically, there is full employment for Malaysians and there is definitely a shortage of labour.

A group of foreign workers waiting for their documents to be processed. Pic taken from The Star Online.

A group of foreign workers waiting for their documents to be processed. Pic taken from The Star Online.

THE announcement by the Immigration Department on Tuesday that it would freeze the assets and bank accounts of employers hiring illegal foreign workers has been described as costly and complicated for the business community.

This description indicates the severity and unpopularity of this latest decision among business owners. Among the key economic sectors to be affected most by this decision could be plantations, construction, service and manufacturing.

To be enforced next month, this Immigration Department decision has stirred up a huge furore among almost all trade groups, including the Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers and the Associated Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Malaysia (ACCCIM).

It seems like a hasty and harsh move threatening to shatter the private sector that has helped the country to build up its economy.

Business operators feel that it is the country’s economy that stands to lose if the decision is not reversed.

“There is a necessity for foreign workers in our country, but the system to hire legal workers is costly and complicated,” said lawyer Michael Chai, deputy secretary general II of the ACCCIM. Read more

Firms question Immigration’s authority to freeze assets over illegal hires

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Migrant workers are led to have their documents inspected during an immigration raid in Kuala Lumpur. — AFP pic

Migrant workers are led to have their documents inspected during an immigration raid in Kuala Lumpur. — AFP pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 15 — The Immigration Department is not empowered to freeze the assets of employers who hire illegal foreign workers without a court order, the Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF) has argued.

MEF executive director Datuk Shamsuddin Bardan said Section 56 of the Immigration Act 1963 only covers offences and punishments that should be imposed by the court upon conviction, and that freezing a firm’s assets before then was premature.

“This presupposes that the punishment is imposed by the court and not the Immigration Department,” he was quoted saying by local daily The Star.

He cited as example the same law’s Section 56(1) (d), where “anyone harbouring any person whom he knows or has reasonable grounds for believing to have acted in contravention of the Act such as not having a visa, passport or work permit, could be fined upon conviction in court not exceeding RM10,000 or jailed not more than five years”. Read more

Immigration Dept to start freezing assets of employers who protect illegal foreign workers

Source: The Star Online

A group of foreign workers waiting for their documents to be processed. Pic taken from The Star Online.

A group of foreign workers waiting for their documents to be processed. Pic taken from The Star Online.

SEPANG: The Immigration Department will start freezing the assets of employers who hire and protect illegal foreign workers from next month.

Its Director-General Datuk Seri Mustafar Ali said that there is a provision under Section 56(1) of the Immigration Act to freeze assets and bank accounts of employers, however, it has not been fully enforced.

“We don’t want the public to get shocked when we finally take this measure come October this year. It’s not a new thing.

“We hope the media can relay the message to the public so that we can create awareness, as well as inform employers of the consequences they face when they protect their illegal foreign workers,” he said at a press conference here on Tuesday. Read more

NGOs want govt to have comprehensive policy of migrant labour

Source: The Star Online

A group of foreign workers waiting for their documents to be processed. Pic taken from The Star Online.

A group of foreign workers waiting for their documents to be processed. Pic taken from The Star Online.

PETALING JAYA: A coalition of NGOs working on migrant rights have urged the government to come up with a comprehensive policy on labour migration.

The Right to Redress Coalition (R2R) said there were many contentious issues associated with labour migration in Malaysia, and they were not problems that can be ignored.

R2R member Rani Rasiah said that given the significance of migrant workers to the economy, and their numbers, it is not a problem we can afford to ignore.

She estimates that migrant workers make up one third of the workforce, and 20% of our population.

More than half the migrant workforce in the country is undocumented, she added.

“Certain economic sectors have become so dependent on migrant workers that there’s a fear of collapse if they are withdrawn,” said Rani who is with the Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM).   Read more

We Ask Stakeholders If Foreign Workers Are Entitled To Equal Rights As Local Employees

Source: Malaysian Digest

In recent years, Malaysia has frequently been linked to human rights abuses in the international media involving migrant workers and and victims of human trafficking.

Malaysia’s human trafficking score was even a topic of international political debate recently when the United States was accused of upgrading Malaysia’s score to Tier 2 Watch List to ensure that we meet the criteria as a signatory of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

FilePic: ANN

FilePic: ANN

According to a report by the Asian Century Institute in 2014, the number of foreign workers in Malaysia rose an alarming 340% to reach 1.8 million by 2010 but have our labour laws kept up with the times to cope with this sudden spike in foreign labour presence in our country?

Malaysia outsources workers from Indonesia, Myanmar, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Philippines, Thailand, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal, India and Sri Lanka.

They are mostly employed in sectors involving heavy manual labour (the infamously labelled ‘3D’ jobs) in manufacturing, construction, plantation, agricultural and domestic help. However some Malaysians do not realize that they are vital for the economy and treat these workers without respect.

What is more worrying is the increase in the number of cases that make headlines involving Malaysians dispensing vigilante justice without any regard for the law. Read more

Protecting migrant workers can benefit host countries’ economies, UN says

Source: The Malaysian Outsider

Migrant workers staying in cramped quarters in Malaysia. The UN says if migrant labour is given benefits and social protections, it will boost the economies of the host countries. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, March 1, 2016.

Migrant workers staying in cramped quarters in Malaysia. The UN says if migrant labour is given benefits and social protections, it will boost the economies of the host countries. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, March 1, 2016.

Governments must provide migrant labour with the same benefits and social protections they give their own citizens, which will boost their economies and worker productivity, a United Nations official said.

Of the estimated 232 million migrants in the world in 2013, more than 95 million are from the Asia Pacific region, according to the UN’s Asia Pacific Migration Report 2015 launched this week in Bangkok.

Migrants contribute significantly to GDP growth in host countries, while sending home about US$435 billion (RM1.8 billion) in remittances to the Asia Pacific region in 2015, said Hongjoo Hahm, deputy executive secretary of the UN’s development arm for Asia and the Pacific.

Yet many face abuses at every step of the way, from recruitment agencies and job brokers at home to exploitative employers, officials and police abroad.

It is the responsibility of governments in the countries that send and receive migrants to have domestic, regional and inter-country discussions to create the policies and conditions necessary for safe migration, Hahm said. Read more

Bab buruh TPPA terlalu berpihak pekerja asing, kata kumpulan majikan

Sumber: The Malaysian Insider

Persatuan majikan persoal seksyen berkaitan penggajian pekerja asing dalam Perjanjian Perkongsian Trans-Pasifik (TPPA) yang menimbulkan kebimbangan kerana ia meletakkan keperluan harus dipenuhi majikan yang menggunakan buruh asing. – Gambar fail The Malaysian Insider, 17 November, 2015.

Pihak berkepentingan mempersoalkan seksyen berkaitan penggajian pekerja asing dalam Perjanjian Perkongsian Trans-Pasifik (TPPA) yang menimbulkan kebimbangan mereka kerana ia meletakkan beberapa keperluan yang harus dipenuhi majikan yang menggunakan buruh asing.

Perjanjian antara 12 negara itu yang dijangka akan disahkan pada awal tahun depan, mengandungi bab berkaitan buruh, bertujuan menangani isu Malaysia dalam penyeludupan manusia.

Ia termasuk meletakkan beberapa syarat seperti majikan tidak dibenarkan memegang pasport pekerja, levi perlu dibayar majikan dan juga hak menubuhkan sesebuah kesatuan.

Namun, Persatuan Majikan Amah Malaysia (Mama) dan Persatuan Agensi Pembantu Rumah Asing (Papa) berkata pengambilan pekerja domestik sudah pun dilindungi dalam perjanjian 2 hala antara kedua-dua negara. Read more