1st March 2024: Duped Bangladeshi worker dies while trying to go home

Duped Bangladeshi worker (another victim of alleged criminal syndicate trafficking Bangladeshi workers for forced labour in Malaysia?) dies while trying to go home

FMT 1 Mar 2024: Duped Bangladeshi worker (another victim of alleged criminal syndicate trafficking Bangladeshi workers for forced labour in Malaysia) dies while trying to go home

An activist says Shofiqul Islam, 33, duped Bangladeshi worker, had been jobless for six months and died of a heart attack after obtaining a travel permit from his high commission.

Original Source – FMT by Ameer Fakhri – 1st March 2024

PETALING JAYA: A Bangladeshi man has reportedly died of a heart attack while attempting to return home, six months after he was duped into coming to Malaysia for a non-existent job.

The man, Shofiqul Islam, 33, had remained unemployed and endured poor living conditions since he arrived. He died last night at a workers’ hostel in Sepang, Selangor, according to Aziz Ismail, a member of the Selangor Anti-Human Trafficking Council.

Aziz said Shofiqul had obtained a travel permit from the Bangladesh high commission to return home. “Unfortunately, the victim suffered a fatal heart attack last night due to stress, and he died on the spot,” said Aziz.

Aziz claimed that the victim was one of 280 Bangladeshi nationals he had interviewed, who were duped by a company based in Johor Bahru.

He said each worker had paid around RM20,000 to RM25,000 in recruitment fees to come to Malaysia for work.

Initially placed in Johor Bahru upon arrival, the workers were later relocated by the company to a shophouse in Sepang where they were forced to put up with poor living conditions.

FMT is seeking comment from the company.

Aziz said he had tried to help Shofiqul and 13 others seek legal recourse from the labour department but was told it could not do anything as the company involved was based in Johor Bahru.

Aziz said he had also sent emails to the human resources minister and home minister on the matter in January. “Unfortunately, I have not received any response.”

Aziz said the company had withheld the passports belonging to Shofiqul and his fellow countrymen. Some of Shofiqul’s friends were beaten up when they demanded the return of their passports, he said.

RTV Online 1st Mar 2024: Expatriates die without getting work in Malaysia (google translate)


Visa of the alleged deceased

Original Source: Rtv News by Mustafa Imran Raju 

On August 5 last year, 71 Bangladeshis came to Malaysia to work in a construction company called Petra Zehra Berhad. Soon after their dream came to Malaysia, their dream was broken. These expatriates are living an inhumane life due to hunger and lack of treatment without getting work for almost five months. If you go to raise the complaint of suffering, you have to be a victim of brutal torture.

One of them is Pabna expatriate Md. Shafiqul Islam (33). He came to Malaysia through a recruiting agency called Unique. He died at 9:30 on Friday morning.

An eyewitness, who did not wish to be named, said that he was ill, had no treatment, went to sleep at night as usual but did not wake up.

The condition of the rest of the Bangladeshis staying there is not good either. They spend time in fear and panic. These expatriates are regularly subjected to torture by the employer’s employees. Even after arriving in Malaysia on October 5, I still have not received a visa or a job.

Several of them also went to the Bangladesh High Commission in Malaysia complaining of not getting work. Despite the assurance, the High Commission could not make any final solution.

In this regard, Labor Councilor of Bangladesh High Commission in Malaysia, Syed Shariful Islam said, “There are many complaints against Petra Zehra Berhad Company, we have already taken action against them. The High Commission has taken steps to prevent this company from bringing any new workers in the future. He also commented that the High Commission is working to solve the problems of workers who have not yet found work.

The High Commission is working to send the body of the deceased Shafiqul Islam to the country through the company. At the same time, the official also said that his family will get compensation for coming legally.

Meanwhile, we talked about this with a Bangladeshi named Iftekar working in Petra Zehra Berhad Company. He said that the complaints of the victims are not correct, they were not laid hands on, the company also provided good food. They had to be kept for five months due to tax complications. However, he also said that the problem will be solved by March 4/5 and everyone will get visa.

Iftekhar also said that Shafiqul Islam was taken to Sepang Hospital after receiving the news of his death. The doctor on duty there declared him dead.

Many of the workers who do not get work on calling visa are living a subhuman life. Such complaints are regularly coming to the High Commission from different parts of Malaysia. In this regard, the High Commissioner appointed in Malaysia recently said in response to a question from journalists that there is no exemption for those who are involved in such work. The High Commission will consider giving approval to the company against which there is a complaint.

Additional Reading

See also: 26th February 2024: Statement by Andy Hall on Joint KDN, KSM and MAPO Operation to Rescue More Destitute and Stranded Victims of the Alleged Criminal Syndicate Trafficking Workers from Bangladesh

See also 2nd March 2024: Suhakam – Major flaw in Malaysia’s efforts to fight labour trafficking

See also 27th February 2024: SCMP – Malaysian firm probed for human trafficking after 93 Bangladeshi workers found abandoned

See also 26th February 2024: FMT – Stern action against company that duped Bangladeshi workers in Cheras

Background 26th February 2024: Bernama – Home, HR ministries: Firm facing legal action for abandoning 93 Bangladeshi workers brought into Malaysia last year

See also – 25th February 2024: FMT – More than 100 Bangladeshi migrants stranded in Cheras without jobs, says activist Andy Hall

Business Standard 18th Feb 2024: Bangladeshis pay much higher than peers (US$4500++) to reach Malaysia job market – syndicates, impunity and systemic forced labour

Malay Mail 8th Feb 2024 – Activists: Duped Bangladeshi workers in Malaysia sought RM2m in unpaid wages, but only got half(first reported compensation settlement for Bangladesh Malaysia organised crime syndicate victims being trafficked for forced labour in Malaysia)

See also: Related story – FMT 30th Dec 2023: Migrants being duped into Malaysia because of govt’s failure to curb criminal trafficking syndicates and organised crime network, says activist Andy Hall

See also: Malay Mail 8th Feb 2024: HR Ministry hails mediation outcome despite claims duped Bangladeshi workers were short-changed

See also: 8th February 2024: FMT – Bangladeshi workers win RM1mil in unpaid wages

See also: 7th Feb 2024: Bangla Tribune – Job trap in Malaysia, 733 Bangladeshis in salary uncertainty

See also: 6th February2024: Benar News – Malaysian Labor Court orders employers to pay Bangladeshi workers RM1 million in unpaid wages – first reported compensation settlement for Bangladesh Malaysia organised crime syndicate victims being trafficked for forced labour in Malaysia

See also: 16th January 2024: FMT – 751 duped Bangladeshi migrant workers in Pengerang case file RM2 million claim for unpaid wages resulting from situation akin to forced labour, stranded and destitute on arrival in Malaysia (includes comments by Andy Hall)

See also: 6th Jan 2024: FMT: Away from families, in debt, and jobless in a foreign land

See also: 6th Jan 2024: New Strait Times – Company that promised 171 Bangladeshi workers non-existent jobs blacklisted

See also: 5th Jan 2024: New Strait Times – MCA: Don’t just fine employers, hold ministry accountable as well for unemployed foreign workers

See also: FMT 30th Dec 2023: Migrants being duped into Malaysia because of govt’s failure to curb criminal trafficking syndicates and organised crime network, says activist Andy Hall

See also: 30th Dec 2023: New Strait Times – Recruitment agencies accused of deception as Bangladeshi victims speak out on exploitation and fear

See also: 29th Dec 2023: Malay Mail – Set up probe on exploitation of migrant workers and new ministry to manage their affairs, Suhakam tells Putrajaya

See also: 28th Dec 2023: New Strait Times – ‘Company involved in 171 Bangladeshi migrant worker scandal not licensed to recruit’

See also: 28th Dec 2023: FMT – Malaysia has entered ‘slave labour’ territory, says ex-MP – Charles Santiago calls for specific set-ups to manage migrant workers 

See also: 27th Dec 2023: New Strait Times – MTUC demand govt, MACC probe into corrupt recruitment practices of foreign workers

See also: 27th Dec 2023: New Strait Times – Strict action against employers, agencies neglecting 171 Bangladeshi workers: MEF

See also: 27th Dec 2023: FMT – Bangladeshis duped over jobs are victims of human trafficking, says rights group

See also: 26th Dec 2023: FMT – Azalina wants urgent probe into 171 Bangladeshis duped over jobs

See also: 26th Dec 2023: FMT – High recruitment fees make greedy agents bring in workers, says group

See also: 25th Dec 2023: FMT – Probe recruitment agents, MACC told after arrest of Bangladeshis

See also: 25th Dec 2023: FMT – Human resources ministry comes to the rescue of Bangladeshi workers

See also: 25th Dec 2023: FMT – Cops nab 171 foreigners protesting lack of jobs in Johor

See also: 25th Dec 2023: The Star – Foreigners march to police station to complain about agent, get hauled up by Immigration Dept instead

See also: 5th Nov 2023: Malaysian HR Minister pledges nationwide operations concerning plight of Bangladeshi migrant workers in Malaysia following Andy Hall’s complaint letter to the OHCHR

See also: 30th Oct 2023: FMT: Andy Hall refers stranded Bangladeshi workers’ plight in Malaysia to UN Human Rights Council

See also: 19th Oct 2023: Malaysia facing huge excess of 1/4 million migrant laborers

See also: 21st Sep 2023: Malaysian government has 15 source countries for foreign workers – Comments by Andy Hall

See also: 20th Sep 2023: Rate of abused Bangladeshi workers’ entry into Malaysia worrying, says migrant rights activist Andy Hall

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