Thursday, September 05, 2013

Malaysian government failings the reason for still so many undocumented migrants(illegal foreigners)?

Big crackdown on undocumented migrant workers in Malaysia - but what is coming to light is disturbing, i.e. allegations from migrant workers that they have been CHEATED - They believed that they were documented migrant workers, some after the 6P exercise in 2011.{In fact, migrants were still being cheated last year, believing that the legalization was still ongoing}

The Malaysian government should have used public servants (government officials) for the registration and legalization exercise rather that appointing persons/private sector entities to do their work. It is these 'third parties' and maybe also other third parties that pretended to be government appointed/authorized agents who may be at fault. After all, look at the answer they gave in Parliament - it was a private funding initiative - but who was this 'private sector'? Was it the recruitment agencies? Who?Who funded the 6P programme? - Private Funding Initiative (PFI)? So who funded, and why?Happily the government announced that they spend nothing, as no accounts were given as it was a PFI,

Now, on 10/1/2013 the Government of Malaysia clearly stated that the 6P Migrant Registration & Amnesty program, which began in October 2012  was ended today(10/1/2013) - and there will be no extension....but still migrant workers were being called to register - see one such notice in the following blog posting 32,664 undocumented migrants have been whipped after they were found guilty under the Immigration Act 1959/63.

The government should have conducted this themselves using Immigration Officers(in uniform) and official offices - rather than allow private parties to do it. The migrant worker, who naturally is not fluent in Malay/English is so easily cheated and deceived by 'private' parties...Hence, the fault this time in part lies with the government

The direct employment by Employers that have work and need workers, who would then be able to identify clearly the migrant worker before entering into an employment agreement and bringing them to Malaysia is always the BEST way. But, if the government uses 'contractors for labour' who bring in migrant workers in bulk with the hope of satisfying the demands of businesses/factories that need workers - there is a problem. What if the worker is not suitable, the factory/business just pick up the phone and tell the 'contractor for labour' to take back this worker and provide another. What happens to the 'rejected' worker - he returns to the 'contractor for labour' who themselves do not have no pay, and may not be able to find a suitable employment for this worker - what happens then? Send the worker back? Well, any migrant worker usually incur substantial debts even before they arrive in Malaysia to work - so returning home is never an option for many who just become undocumented migrant workers hoping to earn enough to settle their debts and go back home with some money for themselves and their families.

The government must there abolish the 'Contractor For Labour System', bring back the 'old' system where the employer goes and finds the best worker for the work he has in Malaysia. Make it also clear that the duration of the employment contract is fixed, i.e. 3 years or 5 years, and if the employer ends the contract prematurely, then he is liable to compensate the migrant worker the remaining duration of the contract - basic wages X months remaining. Blacklist employers who break the laws - not just the company or the business, but also the Directors, CEO/Managers and shareholders. This would ensure that employers are more serious and careful when they choose migrant workers, and enter into employment agreements and thereafter adhere to all their agreed obligations as employer - This will certainly decrease the number of undocumented migrants.

Ensure that migrants, if they lodge complaints at the Labour Department, Industrial Relations Department,... that they may stay and work legally until their claims/cases are settled in these departments/courts... Again that will ensure that employers would stop 'cheating' migrant workers. Now, some employers prefer migrant workers over local workers because (1) they can easily exploit these workers; (2) they can easily cheat them of their monies and they will not be able to complain or get justice - because the employer can get work permits cancelled, and they become undocumented losing rights to continue their claims/cases [If you take the effort, migrant worker can stay but cannot work and will be given a Special Pass, costing the worker RM100 per month, and this usually given for 3 months only - not enough time for access to justice procedures to come to an end.]

The Malaysian government must be serious and stop employers/'contractors for labour'/agents for they really may be root cause for undocumented migrants.

Change the employment policy - allow only direct employment, allow migrant workers who want to change employers the ability to do so and put the onus on new employers to immediately 'register' their new migrant worker.... ABOLISH LEVY...or ensure that it is employers that LEVY not workers. 

Tell us:-
1) How many of these undocumented migrants (illegal) came to Malaysia as documented workers and then became undocumented?
2) How many of these 'illegal migrants' did register under the 6P programme?
3) How many were cheated by 'third parties' who gave them the impression that they were legal? Investigate, find these 'third parties' and prosecute them ... The migrant workers should be now 'legalized'. 

With regard to those from Myanmmar, make sure that they are not asylum seekers or refugees - for this Malaysia needs to enact a law recognizing refugees and asylum seekers, and providing a procedure for vetting, etc .. {It is not good enough depending on UNHCR - plus the fact in Malaysian law, the refugee and/or asylum seeker is still not statutorily recognized}


Double blow for man cheated by '6P agent', then arrested
EXCLUSIVE A Myanmarese migrant was arrested on Tuesday night despite having lodged a police report last month alleging that he had been cheated of his passport and thousands of ringgit by a so-called 6P agent.

Picked up in Pudu, Kuala Lumpur at about 8pm, the 26-year-old man was among 2,586 nabbed in the massive immigration operation on undocumented migrants, which started on Sunday.

NONEAccording to the police report lodged by the man on Aug 12, he had paid an agent operating in Lebuh Pudu RM3,600 and surrendered his passport as the agent claimed this was required for the 6P migrant legalisation exercise.

"She took my original passport (passport number withheld) and RM3,600 for the processing fee and she said after the process was done, she would call me for a medical check up," he said.

He said that the agent, a Myanmarese woman allegedly married to a Malaysian, then gave him a receipt but he never heard from her again.

He also claimed he had gone to her to renew his work permit which was then expiring.

The agent provided the man with copies of documents including one purportedly issued by the Home Ministry which states that the man has been approved to be on the 6P list.

Immigration and ministry letters
The man was also given a copy of his "registration slip", purportedly issued by the Immigration Department dated Aug 12, 2011.

Also provided to him was a copy of a letter from a Home Ministry official to the Myanmar Embassy dated Nov 29, 2011 stating that the man is already legalised under the 6P programme.

Malaysiakini is withholding the name of the Myanmarese man for his safety, as he previously claimed that the agent had hired thugs who stopped those allegedly cheated from approaching the agent's place of business.

NONEThe portal is also withholding the name of the purported agent, as they have yet to respond to requests for response.

Checks on the Home Ministry website showed that the agent is not part of the list of officially-appointed 6P agents.

According to Malaysian Trades Union Congress labour advocate Peter Kanadiah, at least 26 Myanmarese workers have lodged police reports against the same agent but no action has been taken.

"We have also brought the matter to the police, the Immigration Department and the Home Ministry. They are well aware of it," said Kanadiah.

Malaysiakini last week emailed the ministry official on the matter, and provided the reference numbers of the letters he had appeared to have signed.

He has not replied to the email, nor has he been available at the telephone number listed on the ministry website.

'Those being processed will be freed'

NONEMalaysiakini has also made various calls to Immigration Department director-general Alias Ahmad (right) for clarification, but the calls and text messages have been unanswered.

However, he was reported by The Star as saying that workers whose 6P registration is still being processed will be freed as long as they had not overstayed their visas.

The 6P legalisation programme ran from July 2011 to April 2012 for registration and legalisation of foreign workers, through 336 companies appointed by the Home Ministry.

A total of 393,358 illegal immigrants were legalised for work at 76,195 premises as at April 10, 2012 while another 127,503 have been granted amnesty and allowed to return to their countries of origin.

The government also earned some RM1.533 billion in levies as at April 10, 2012. - Malaysiakini, 5/9/2013. Double blow for man cheated by '6P agent', then arrested


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