Malaysia happily declared in a UN meeting - "Foreign workers in Malaysia enjoy the full protection of their human rights, in accordance to Malaysian laws"
But alas, when it comes to access to justice it is pathetic. When a foreign worker claims rights by lodging complaints at the Human Resource Department (or Labour Court), Industrial Relations Department (later to Industrial Court), etc - a situation that usually results in employers terminating the foreign worker concerned, and they just cannot get their rights because Malaysia sadly also removes the right for the foreign worker to remain legally in Malaysia to claim their rights. What Malaysia does is to make their continued presence 'illegal' opening them up to the real risk of arrest, detention, imprisonment, whipping and deportation. Almost all access to justice mechanism requires the complainant (claimant of rights) to be personally present during the process - and if they are absent, their claim/case is just dismissed.
Providing for rights in law only is not enough - all, including foreign workers, must be allowed to effectively use the mechanisms provided in law to claim their human and worker rights.
No - foreign workers in Malaysia do not enjoy FULL protection of their Human Rights - and Malaysia need to do something remedy this.
Violators of human rights of foreign workers escape - and more foreign workers find their rights being violated..
Malaysia seem to be concerned more for Employers, not workers..
Malaysia seem to be concerned about income earned by third parties from foreign workers - including remitances.
Of late, Malaysia even have started violating the constitutional guarantee of equality for all persons...
a) Delaying migrant worker entitlement to Minimum Wages - is this not DISCRIMINATION when other workers are already being paid minimum wages?
b) Transfering the LEVY (that was to deter employers employing migrant workers instead of local workers) to migrants. This also would in fact cancel out (or reduce) the benefit that Minimum Wages would bring to workers.
c) Forcing migrant workers to pay for additional medical/surgical insurance on their own. Should this not be obligation of employers?
d) Allowing employers to make 'extra' deductions from wages - Again, is this not Discrimination
e) There is still no law that ensures minimum standards of worker housing for all sectors where employers provide workers (especially foreign workers) with housing. The old existing law only covers plantations and mining. The housing condition of migrant workers in many cases are pathetic - and it is alleged that in some case they are housed in places not fit for human occupation or is a 'fire hazard'. Many of these premises are not approved by the local authority even the fire department,
f) there are more....
So, Malaysia must really live up to their word and ensure full protection of human rights of migrant worker
Malaysia recognises foreign workers' contribution to country's development
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia as a country that is strategically located in Southeast Asian region is aware of the role that migration can play in the development process and the difficulties it poses.
Malaysia's Permanent Representative to the United Nations (UN) in New York, Datuk Hussein Haniff said the key challenge for the country was to balance the need to maximise the economic benefits derived from migration and the desire to protect the interests of all concerned."We believe that key to achieve this is to ensure the orderly management of migrant flows."In this regard, Malaysia's foreign workers policy is premised on the need to manage migration, in cooperation with source countries with the view to bringing mutual benefits to all parties," he said during the High Level Dialogue on International Migration and Development at the United Nations in New York on Thursday.His speech text was made available to Bernama here today.The envoy said Malaysia's foreign worker policy was premised on the need to ensure it brought mutual benefits to all parties involved, in particular, the source and receiving countries, employers, document migrant workes and civil society.Hussein said Malaysia recognised the significant contribution of migrant labour with regard to physical productivity and economics development of the country."Malaysia believes the benefits of the globalisation process should be equally shared between migrant sending and receiving countries, he added.Hussein said the issue of remittances was a crucial one for migrants and correlated with global development. As such, Malaysia imposes no restriction on workers remitting money back home.On figures released by World Bank 2011, Malaysia is the top 20 immigrant country with a total of 2.4 million migrants, and those migrants remitted approximately US$6.8 billion in 2009, which had indeed, indirectly contributed to the development of other developing nations.The envoy winded up his speech by saying: "Foreign workers in Malaysia enjoy the full protection of their human rights, in accordance to Malaysian laws". -- BERNAMA - New Straits Times, 6/10/2013/Malaysia recognises foreign workers' contribution to country's development