Malaysia becoming death camp for migrant workers — 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.

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MTUC doubts TPPA can protect workers’ rights

Source: The Malaysian Insider

“TPPA: Malaysia Is Not For Sale” books sits on display during its launching at the Karangkraf Complex in Shah Alam on July 11, 2014. The Malaysian Insider/Najjua Zulkefli

The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement has met strong opposition in Malaysia. Malaysian Trades Union Congress says a provision under TPPA on removing restrictions on unions would not make much difference to workers’ rights. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, November 6, 2015.

The Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) has expressed doubt that worker related issues will be resolved even if Putrajaya amend labour laws as required under the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA).

Its secretary-general N. Gopal Kishnam said employers were the stumbling block to setting up unions in workplaces.

“It is easy to register unions but difficult to obtain recognition from employers to enter into collective bargaining,” he told The Malaysian Insider.

Gopal was responding to the TPPA summary text released yesterday, which revealed that long-standing restrictions on unions and strikes must be removed.

He said Putrajaya had yet to ratify the International Labour Orgaisation (ILO) Convention 87 on Freedom of Association.

“This convention paves the way for workers to set up unions to protect their rights and enter into collective bargaining,” he said. Read more