Malaysia becoming death camp for migrant workers — Joshua Woo Sze Zeng

BY JOSHUA WOO SZE ZENG

The maltreatment of migrants has led to many deaths and brought disgrace to the country besides obstructing long-term economic progress.

The maltreatment of migrants has led to many deaths and brought disgrace to the country besides obstructing long-term economic progress.

The Nepalese embassy’s recent report of 461 deaths of its workers in 2015 is a 32% increase from the 348 deaths in 2014. That is an average of nine deaths per week. At this rate, Malaysia is becoming a death camp for migrant workers.

The International Labour Organisation (ILO) in its “Review of Labour Migration Policy in Malaysia” has attributed the cause of the high fatality among migrants to “poor working conditions, high-levels of occupational stress and lack of adequate medical care.”

This is all the result of the Federal Government’s ineffective regulation of the welfare of foreign workers and its dubious migrant policy.

Incompetent migrant worker management

According to the World Bank, there are more than three million migrant workers in Malaysia. However, the protection and regulation of migration is substandard.

When reports emerged in 2012 of the more than 1,000 deaths of foreign workers in a year, the then Minister of Human Resources S Subramaniam denied the numbers without giving the official statistics nor proposing corrective measures. Four years have passed, and there is no action being taken.

Read more