Al Jazeera video: Malaysia’s Migrant Money Trail – 101 East


Published on Jul 20, 2017

Desperate for work, millions of migrants flood into Malaysia. They do the jobs no one wants to do while creating vast profits for those who bring them in.

It is estimated there are up to four million illegal foreign workers in Malaysia.

Some were trafficked. Others overstayed their visas to pay off their debts to employment agents.

Importing labour is a business rife with corruption. While a select few get rich, many workers are trapped in crippling debt, left to live in fear and uncertainty.

101 East investigates the powerful forces making money off the recruitment of vulnerable workers.

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The report, broadcast as part of Al Jazeera’s 101 East programme, is titled “Malaysia’s Migrant Money Trail”.

It features several agents admitting that they regularly pay off Home Ministry and Immigration Department officials, including those in high-ranking positions, when bringing migrant workers into the country.
The Al Jazeera report featured an agent who said the official online portal “recognised his account” when he logged in, and said he was always approved for any number of migrant workers he applied for.

The report also claimed that Synerflux, the sole company tasked with running the online system, had been awarded the contract without an open tender process.
The video documentary featured another agent who showed off copies of letters allegedly sent by the Home Ministry to the Immigration Department, with instructions to speedily approve specific applications to legalise migrant workers.

22 July 2017

Nur Jazlan decries Al Jazeera’s migrant labour corruption exposé

Deputy Home Minister Nur Jazlan Mohamed has decried an expose on the inner workings of the Malaysian migrant labour industry that made numerous allegations of corruption against his ministry.

The report, broadcast as part of Al Jazeera’s 101 East programme, is titled “Malaysia’s Migrant Money Trail”.
“These allegations are outdated and sensational in nature. We have taken action to stop the activities of agents at the Home Ministry and Immigration Department by implementing more transparent online applications since April 1, 2017.

“So the accusations in the Al Jazeera programme are late,” he said when contacted by Malaysiakini.

21 July 2017

The plight of undocumented migrant workers in M’sia

Stephen Ng


COMMENT | Undocumented migrant workers are subject to harassment from the authorities. Instead of being detained for not having a valid visa or work permit, extortion is common.

Their employers also take advantage of them, by exploiting their services. At any point in time, they can be reported to the police.

So, who is to blame? They enter the country without the proper documents, but the employers use them as their “slaves”.

One reason why the Immigration Department had launched Ops Mega E-Card is to help employers register these undocumented immigrant workers.

It is hoped that employers will start to take the registration of their undocumented migrant workers more seriously, given that a few cases are charged in court such as the case of a cake shop operator in Subang Jaya.

In the past, amnesty programmes have been carried out, one after another, but until now, the problem of undocumented foreign workers is still a serious issue.

Based on the statistics published by the Immigration Department, the detention of 3,116 undocumented immigrants is a drop in the ocean.

The illegal workers are also finding themselves on the run all the time. Whenever wind of a raid is received, they have to go into hiding.

Their presence also attracts the attention of police officers.

Recently, the Inspector-General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar witnessed three policemen on patrol duty performing an unauthorised check on a foreign woman near Eco World, in Semenyih. In my opinion, the subsequent punishment meted out to the policemen was too small.

STEPHEN NG is an ordinary citizen with an avid interest in following political developments in the country since 2008.

The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.

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