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Haul up errant, irresponsible agents as well who wash their hands off managing and looking after migrant workers brought into Malaysia

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by Teresa Kok, DAP Vice Chairman and Member of Parliament for Seputeh

Over the past few days, there have been many reports on the raid by the Immigration Department and also the General Operations Force (PGA) in Kuala Lumpur to nab undocumented migrants mainly from Bangladesh, Nepal and Myanmar. Many visuals of these migrants squatting or sitting down, some with their hands behind their heads seemed to upset and angered many Malaysians calling for the Government to send them back to their respective countries.

From Teresa Kok’s Facebook Page

There has also been a flood of comments on social media amongst the general public on how these undocumented migrants could have entered the country, what visa did they use to enter, in which industry do they belong to and finally, who brought them in?

The crux of the matter is who and where are the agents who hustle and bring in such migrant workers to work primarily in sectors that are dangerous, dirty and difficult, where most are exploited and paid a much lower wage and in sectors that most Malaysians aren’t inclined to work in?

Soon after arriving, most of them are abandoned. The irresponsible agents hold all legal documents of these migrant workers. It has turned into a big social problem. Not to mention those who were smuggled into our country.

This begs the obvious and jarring question. Why and how can such open transgressions of the law happen in the first place? Immigration comes under the Home Ministry. How difficult is it to stem and to stop these? Can we have an orderly entry and exit of foreign workers? These instances can also give rise to national security issues.

On another related matter today, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Federal Territories) Dr Zaliha Mustafa stated that owners of business premises in Kuala Lumpur are reminded to comply with all regulations set by the Kuala Lumpur City Hall, especially on leasing out the premises to foreigners without valid documents and employing undocumented immigrants, which is an admission of weakness in our system.

How are these migrants running businesses if only a Malaysian can obtain a business licence? Are they operating because powerful people are protecting them and their bosses?

As we cry out for all undocumented migrants to be deported to their respective countries, we should also start hauling up errant agents.

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