Wipe out exploitation of migrant workers – now or never

It is time to expose organisations guilty of such heinous crimes against fellow human beings

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Photo credit: indmediahk.net

Decades have passed, and we still hear of incidents of exploitation of foreign workers here.

Many of these reports are heart-rending. It is disgusting to know that such things are still happening here.

What will it take for our government and leaders to protect our country’s reputation?

The recent widely publicised case of an Indian citizen who was lured to our shores and made to work under extreme conditions in an Indian restaurant in Petaling Jaya has disgraced us again.

Why do we keep hearing about such horrible cases of abuse of workers?

Over the past three decades, we have lost count of the shocking media exposes of cruelty, exploitation and cheating of domestic workers, plantation workers, construction workers and migrant workers in other sectors. All of them have contributed to the development of the nation and the enrichment of many Malaysians.

Do our authorities not have the will to protect the good name of our nation? Is it so huge a task to police and curb?

Do our business leaders not have the capability to ensure that their organisations are clean and free of these such crimes against our fellow human beings?

It looks as if we are morally and spiritually broke as a nation of people.

NGOs like Tenaganita have produced voluminous and painstaking reports and exposes as they fight for the rights and wellbeing of migrant workers against inhuman treatment. These reports tell us we are so greedy, uncaring and inhuman. After three decades of exploiting cheap labour to enrich ourselves, we continue to oppress, victimise and exploit foreign workers here.

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What would it take to cleanse our nation of such ugly practices committed with impunity against migrant workers?

What use is it to proclaim to the world that we are a fast-developing third world nation eager to be crowned with ‘first world’ status, when we fail so miserably in protecting the millions of migrant workers who sacrifice so much to help us realise our national aspirations?

Do we not realise that if one day (God forbid) fortunes turn against us, our own children could end up as migrant workers elsewhere? Would we want our future generations to be treated the same way we treat our migrant workers?

Stop taking cover again by claiming that this one incident of how an India national was abused, mistreated and cheated does not reflect the entire nation. The truth is we have had far too many such reports.

It is time to hold our leaders responsible. It is also time to expose organisations guilty of such heinous crimes against fellow human beings. No guilty employer should be punished lightly or given sanctuary because of connections.

For as long as Malaysians – employers, authorities and political leaders – cannot put a permanent stop to such instances of greed-driven human exploitation, our nation cannot truly progress – and our global reputation will be tarnished.

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Benedict Lopez
25 Jun 2021 7.59am

Glad you brought up the heinous crime of the exploitation of migrant workers JD. I see it with my eyes daily- at 6 am I see domestic workers washing their employers’ cars. Why can’t these despicable employers go to the car wash about a kilometer away and pay RM15 to get their cars washed? Many of these unfortunate migrant workers work at least 12 hours a day. I think its time that before a migrant worker is is engaged, particularly a domestic maid, the terms, conditions and nature of duties should be spelt out explicitly.