5th Nov 2023: Malaysian HR Minister pledges nationwide operations concerning the plight of Bangladeshi migrant workers in Malaysia following Andy Hall’s complaint letter to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)
Malaysian HR Minister pledges nationwide operations concerning the plight of Bangladeshi migrant workers in Malaysia. This comes after migrant rights activist Andy Hall wrote to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on workers allegedly caught in debt bondage after being abandoned without jobs.
Original Source: FMT Bernama – 5th October 2023.
KUALA LUMPUR: The human resources ministry will conduct nationwide operations following a letter by a migrant rights activist to the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), regarding the plight of Bangladeshi workers in Malaysia.
Minister V Sivakumar said the move was to ensure no foreign workers are caught in debt bondage or housed in unfavourable conditions, as alleged in the letter.
“I view this matter seriously as I want to prevent actions outside of the law.
“We want to avoid forced labour occurring in this country,” he said after attending the third series of the ministry’s Jelajah Madani in Gombak today.
Sivakumar was commenting on activist Andy Hall writing a letter to OHCHR, a body under the UN Human Rights Council in Switzerland, alleging that hundreds of Bangladeshi workers were struggling in debt bondage and without jobs in this country.
On the issue of Malaysians often duped by job scams abroad, Sivakumar said his ministry would continue providing information to youths to ensure they do not fall for the empty promises of work agents promising lucrative salaries abroad.
He said his ministry, through Talent Corporation Malaysia Bhd (TalentCorp), will ensure students about to enter the job market know about the jobs available in this country.
The ministry is also creating more opportunities for technical and vocational education and training (TVET) so that youths do not need to depend on jobs in foreign countries.
Sivakumar said that applications for admission to 1,334 TVET institutions nationwide for the January 2024 session were open until Nov 13.
“I hope youths seize this opportunity to venture into TVET because the courses offered are tailored to the needs of the labour market, thus guaranteeing employment after the training period.”
Regarding the Jelajah Madani programme today, Sivakumar said more than 1,000 employment opportunities were offered to job seekers through 10 employers at the carnival.
Malaysian HR Minister – Original Statement Made:
Additional Information and Reading:
Recruitment agencies not allowed to outsource hiring of foreign workers, says HR minister (8th Nov 2023)
By John Bunyan
Tuesday, 07 Nov 2023 4:57 PM MYT
IPOH, Nov 7 — Recruitment agencies in Malaysia are not allowed to assign outsourcing companies to recruit foreign workers, said Human Resources Minister V. Sivakumar.
He said that foreign workers can only be brought in by the recruitment agencies that are approved by the Department of Labour Peninsular Malaysia (JTKSM).
“If an employer requires foreign workers, they must go through the proper channels and obtain the necessary approval from JTKSM as well as meet the stipulated quota.
“And importantly, the foreign workers can only be hired for the jobs stated initially and not for other purposes or placed in a different industry. This is wrong,” he told a press conference at the Social Security Organisation’s (Socso) Deepavali celebration held at Impiana Hotel here.
Sivakumar also issued a strict warning to all employers and recruitment agencies to stop bringing in foreign workers without providing work for them.
He said that stern action will be taken against those who do so.
“I have said this many times before and given strict warnings. Yet, two days ago, I ordered the ministry to conduct operations nationwide to stop such incidents from happening in our country.
“Because I don’t want to see any forced labour in our country as it can create a lot of problems,” he added.
Andy Hall’s Articles on this Subject:
See more: Letter to the editor by Andy Hall FMT 13th Feb 2023 – Time to address corruption in migrant worker management
See more: 20th Jan 2022 Andy Hall’s Op Ed: Safeguarding Bangladesh’s migrant workers