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More Action Needed On Migrant Worker Issues, Say Activists

PETALING JAYA: One year into the Anwar Ibrahim administration, an activist championing migrant rights says more must be done to wipe out bad practices used at the expense of migrant workers.

Migrant Care Malaysia coordinator Alex Ong said poor practices continue to dominate the hiring and handling of migrant workers, with workers still brought into Malaysia with no jobs available.

Ong cited the outsourcing of recruiting by hotels as an example, which he said leaves migrant workers vulnerable.

“Outsourcing is rampant in the hospitality industry. Many workers are not hired by hoteliers but by outsourcing agents.

“They are at the mercy of outsourcing agents who do not even own the property, yet the business model revolves around job orders from hotels,” he told FMT.

He said the government must work to stamp out these practices.

“The current administration needs to do more, talk less and be more transparent,” he said.

North-South Initiative executive director Adrian Pereira said systemic corruption still pervades the labour market, adding however that he understands the government needs more time to address the issue.

“We have barely scraped the surface of human trafficking. There are so many hints pointing towards continued abuse by different actors, but it looks like labour migration is the last thing on Anwar’s agenda,” he said.

Meanwhile, Citizen Action Group on Enforced Disappearance spokesman Rama Ramanathan said Anwar’s administration is not on track to reform the police, seemingly content with the independent police complaints commission (IPCC).

Critics had lambasted the IPCC as a watered-down version of the independent police complaints and misconduct commission (IPCMC) first mooted by the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government in 2018.

Rama reminded the government that the IPCMC was in the PH manifesto before it became the IPCC during the Perikatan Nasional administration in 2020.

“The Anwar-led government seems happy that the high-powered IPCMC train was replaced by a toy train,” he said.

Source : FMT