Monday, April 06, 2009

A pre-occupation with RIGHTS is better than with coloured 'i-Kad'..

When you get stopped by the police and Immigration enforcement officers, do they accept these 'i-Kad', or do they still want to see the original passport and/or the NRIC (myKad).

When you go to the government hospitals, is this i-Kad recognized.

Has the law been amended that states that you can use the i-Kad in place of the passports? No, it has not - and until that is done, the migrant workers will have to take along their original passports - if not, they may end up being arrested, detained...and even maybe deported.

Our police, immigration officers, RELA, court .... can arrest and keep detain for months a Malaysian woman - who finally gets released with a child. , what about the poor migrant worker - what will be his/her fate? (see earlier post:-Pregnant Malaysian mum wrongfully detained in Migrant Detention Centre for 11+ months)

Why this 'i-Kad'? The Immigration Deputy DG, says it for convenience.... " that they can move around easier without having to carry passports all the time...". The foreign worker is not complaining about the size of the passport - their complaint is that their employer is wrongly keeping their passports. This is where the Immigration Department must be acting on - take these employers to court and charge them. Make it clearly known that it is against the law to keep someone else's pasport.

Employers should bring their domestic maids to the Immigration Department for them to be issued the i-Kad.

Department deputy director-general (control) Sulaiman Keling said some employers were unaware of the need to get i-Kad for their maids.

“But this is for the maid’s welfare so that they can move around easier without having to carry passports all the time,” he said. - Star, 6/4/2009, Immigration: Bring maids along for i-Kad application

So, why 'i-Kad'?....I believe it was to give an opportunity for some people to make some money... after all with 2.1 (or 2.4 million) documented migrants - this is a lots of money. How much do they charge for that i-Kad anyway? Who got the contract?

Well, there is so much pre-occupation and effort with regard this 'i-Kad' for migrant domestic workers - but really should the authorities not be wasting time with this stupid card - and focus on getting some rights for migrant domestic workers.

He said registration for the i-Kad could be done anytime at the nearest state Immigration Department.

“The maid must be present, however, for the registration as we will need to get her thumbprint for the i-Kad. The employer should also bring along two passport-size photos of the maid and her passport,” he said.

Sulaiman said many employers did not bother to register their maids for the i-Kad with the department, saying that they had no time or that it would disturb the maids’ schedule.

“We would love for employers to come forward with their maids,” he said, adding that there was no penalty for not having an i-Kad at present. Star, 6/4/2009, Immigration: Bring maids along for i-Kad application

1 day off per week. Maximum 8-9 hours work per day ( not this 24-hours a day work). Freedom of movement. Freedom to use one's own phones. Proper and separate accomodations to ensure privacy. Respect for one's religious belief and obligations. [Today, whilst the employment law recognizes the domestic worker, many of minimum standards, protections and conditions of work that protects other workers does not apply to the domestic worker, but today with over 300,000 domestic workers in Malaysia, this must be looked into in a serious way]

And what is this nonsense about the different coloured cards for migrant workers - based on their sectors of work. So, if the employer fumbles or the immigration department fumbles and the worker gets a wrong-coloured card, he may again risk arrest,m detention, deportation... If there is to be i-Kads for Migrant Workers - just give them the same cards, and whatever information about the name of employer, etc could very well be in that card...soon, the Malaysian government may require migrant workers to walk around wearing a big 'YELLOW STAR' on their clothes just like what happened to the Jews during WW II.

The colour-coded i-Kad, introduced last year, is a sophisticated travel document for foreign workers, foreign students and expatriates.

Students were the first to receive their green-coloured cards in 2007.

Domestic maids will be given purple cards, plantation workers red cards with yellow stripes and those in other sectors red cards.

Expatriates get gold-coloured cards and their spouses gold-coloured cards with red stripes. The social visit pass for participants of the “My Second Home” programme is silver in colour. - Star, 6/4/2009, Immigration: Bring maids along for i-Kad application

I really want to know who pays for this i-Kad? The employer? Will the emplooyers be permitted to wrongly deduct the workers wages to recover the cost of this i-Kad, the cost of travel involved, etc...

Already, there is really so little enforcement against employers who deduct almost all expenses involved in getting and employing a foreign migrant worker from the wages of the workers - and this makes it so much cheaper to get a foreign worker compared to a local worker.

The recent for the levy, etc was to compel employers to employ locals rather than foreigners - but alas, the government fails to action on the many employers who just turn around and deduct all their expenses (and maybe more) from the wages of the workers.

The law is clear - You can only deduct from a worker's wages things that are clearly permitted in law - like SOCSO(PERKESO) , EPF(KWSP) , ... you certainly cannot deduct levy paid, other expenses in bringing in a migrant worker..

The law is clear - Every month the worker has to be paid wages. Yes, every single month wages need to be paid.

The law is clear - The maximum amount of deductions is 50% of the workers monthly wages . That means at the very least the worker must receive 50% of his wages. (see earlier post:- Levy, Air Fare,...cannot be deducted from Migrant Worker's is LAW. )

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