10 migrant workers detained in Malaysia
A group of 10 Bangladeshi migrant workers were detained this week in Malaysia for "not possessing valid documents", according to a report of Free Malaysia Today (FMT).
The purported employer failed to provide the migrants with jobs since their entry to the Southeast Asian country last December, said the report, published yesterday on FMT online.
They were among 95 workers who paid about RM20,000 each in recruitment fees to an agency in Bangladesh which promised them jobs at an engineering company in Selangor, the report adds.
Abdullah, a spokesman for the group, told FMT their passports were taken away from them by two representatives from the company after meeting them at the Penang International Airport.
The first batch of 48 workers, who arrived on December 21, moved to Selangor, and the second batch of 47 workers, who arrived on December 29, remained in Penang, where the company put them up in "overcrowded quarters and also gave them poor quality food", he said.
A source at the Penang labour department told FMT that they received a report from the department's headquarters about migrant workers living in unfavourable conditions in the state.
"On Monday, we conducted an operation with the police and the immigration department at four locations in Butterworth and Bukit Mertajam," he said.
"Our checks revealed that 10 workers did not have their passports and work permits. They only had photos (of the documents) on their phones.
"From the photos, the permits and passports had already expired. They were detained by the immigration department for overstaying."
Malaysian Human Resources Minister V Sivakumar told FMT that he was aware of the matter and said the ministry will issue a statement soon.