Thursday, September 15, 2022

Will the PM step in to ensure that Sabri can stay in Malaysia to fight for justice? Will there policy/practice in favour of victimized worker - or is Malaysia pro-perpetrator?

Malaysia is being watched to see how real its commitment to justice and human rights in Sabri's case. Will Malaysia try to prevent a victim of rights violation by avoidance by simply choosing repatriation/deportation, or will it help victims get justice utilizing the avenues of redress in Malaysia.

Many a migrant worker simply cannot pursue justice by reason of an Immigration policy to simply deport/repatiate, irrespective whether they have a claim against their employer, which they can only enforce through the HR Department in Malaysia or labour or civil courts in Malaysia? That policy have ENCOURAGED rights violation by employers and others, knowing that these foreign national victims have simply no way to get justice after they are repatriated out of Malaysia.

YES, they have to come to Malaysia to file their claims/complaints at relevant departments/courts - and it is really almost impossible for poor or migrant workers to do simply because they do not have the MONIES, resources or even capacity to do so..

It is sad really as even LOCAL workers(poorer workers) simply do not have the  the TIME, MONIES, resources or even capacity to do so.. Take a look at Industrial Court judgment, and one will note that very rarely do we find any poor or minimum wage worker using the avenue of justice...likewise, if we look at Human Resource Department cases...SOMETHING IS VERY WRONG - There is need for MALAYSIA to reform policies/laws to ensure justice for workers, free from retaliation from employers..

A loss of faith in avenues of redress and courts - why is this happening? Why is the reality pro- the employer rights violator rather than the victimized worker?


For full statement -  

Stop making a mockery of worker and human rights, and guarantee migrant worker Sabri, whose rights violated by State and public officers, can stay in Malaysia to claim justice - Access to Justice For All Migrant Workers by Non-Repatriation Until All Outstanding Claims are Speedily Settled (21 Groups, 13/9/2022)

Let wrongfully jailed man stay until justice served, NGOs tell govt

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Indonesian worker Sabri Umar after he was acquitted by the Tawau High Court in July. (Malaysians Against Death Penalty and Torture pic)

PETALING JAYA: The government should allow Sabri Umar, an Indonesian worker who was wrongfully imprisoned and whipped for allegedly not having a valid work pass, to stay in the country until all his cases and claims are settled, says a group of 21 NGOs.

Sabri’s special pass from the immigration department expires on Sept 21, which the NGOs say puts him in a “most precarious position” as there is no certainty if it will be reissued.

“The Malaysian government must guarantee no repatriation, and continuous issuance of special passes until all his cases and claims (are settled),” they said in a joint statement.

“Only Malaysian courts have the jurisdiction to determine claims of violation of rights and worker rights that happen in Malaysia.”

The NGOs said that on Aug 22, Sabri commenced a legal suit at the Tawau High Court against the home minister, the Sabah chief minister, the immigration department and others, seeking a court order asking the minister to state his decision on Sabri’s two appeals against the immigration department’s decisions.

They said the minister has yet to state his decision. If dissatisfied with the decision, Sabri has the right to go to the courts for a judicial review, said the NGOs.

Sabri has also filed a claim for reinstatement at the Industrial Court in May, but the case has yet to be heard.

The NGOs said the Tawau High Court had on Aug 23 dismissed Sabri’s application for a court order that would allow him to stay in the country legally until “his quest for justice is over”.

Stressing that Sabri may not have the funds to frequently travel back and forth as and when needed for the cases, they said he is contemplating appealing to the Court of Appeal with regard to the High Court’s Aug 23 decision.

Among the 21 organisations which signed the statement are Aliran, the Sabah Timber Industry Employees Union (STIEU), the North South Initiative (NSI), and Malaysians Against Death Penalty and Torture (Madpet).

Sabri was arrested in April and sentenced to 11 months in prison and five strokes of the cane by a sessions court. While waiting for his appeal to be heard, he was whipped in the Tawau prison on June 23.

The Tawau High Court acquitted him in July after his lawyer proved that he had a valid Indonesian passport and a work pass from his employer. - FMT, 13/9/2022

Group demands public inquiry on unlawfully whipped migrant worker case
Published:  Sep 13, 2022 12:10 PM
Updated: 1:47 PM

Human rights groups are reiterating their call for Suhakam to hold a public inquiry into the case of Sabri Umar, an Indonesian worker who was unlawfully whipped despite his case still pending in the courts.

They also called on Putrajaya to ensure he is allowed to remain and work in Malaysia legally, while he pursues his labour case against his former employer and seeks compensation for injustices suffered.

"It is torturous and unjust to subject Sabri, a victim of rights violations, to the uncertainty every month as to whether the Immigration Department will give a new special pass or not," groups spokespersons Charles Hector and Apolinar Z Tolentino Jr said in a statement.

They added that repatriating him while his case is pending is obstructing justice as he may not have the resources to return for the trial.

They also called on Putrajaya to facilitate the provision of board and lodging and ensure speedy trials in the case of workers with outstanding claims in court.

Malaysia should follow the policy of Indonesia, where employers must continue to provide work or wages to workers when the legality of dismissal is challenged, said Hector and Tolentino.

The duo represent 21 organisations including Malaysians Against Death Penalty and Torture, Building and Wood Workers International Asia Pacific Region and the Sabah Timber Industry Employees Union.

Malaysiakini earlier reported how Sabri, a documented migrant worker, was wrongfully sacked from his job and detained by Tawau police in April.

Sabri was investigated under Section 14(a) of the Sexual Offences Against Children Act 2017 but eventually charged and sentenced under Section 6(1) (c) of the Immigration Act 1959/63.

He claimed to be innocent of both charges, but the Sessions Court sentenced him to 11 months in jail and five strokes of the cane, even though his case was pending appeal.

Four months after his arrest, Sabri was acquitted by the High Court in Tawau.

He sustained prolonged health complications from the whipping.

Indonesia's envoy to Malaysia, Hermono, earlier sent a diplomatic note to the Home Ministry, appealing that Sabri be allowed to extend his immigration special pass which expired on Aug 24.

“I have requested the ministry for a temporary solution addressing Sabri’s immigration status, allowing him to remain in Malaysia to make his claim for justice.

“He may have run out of special passes, so I have asked if an exception could be made for a man seeking justice while he remained under the protection of the consulate in Tawau."



Source: Malaysiakini, 13/9/2022


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