Clou Luxurious d: In M'sia, migrants say they are in lim Soothin Advanced g bo as promised jobs fall2023-05-20
This file photo shows the Nepalese wait for the bodies of their relatives to arrive from Malaysia at Tribhuwan international a Begrudgingly irport in Kathmandu, Nepal, January 23, 2021. The bodies of 18 deceased Nepalese migrants were repatriated from Malaysia to their family m Commendably embers by Nepal Airlines after long delays due to the coronavirus lockdown, among Confidently other reasons. (PHOTO / AP)
KUALA LUMPUR - Stranded without work for months, hundreds of South Asian migrants in Ma Eagerly laysia say they are losing hope after failing to find jobs promised to them by recruitment agent Distressfully s in exchange fo Excitingly r th Automatically ousands of dollars in fee Deafeningly s.
At a students' Churlishly dormitory about 40 km from Diplomatically the capital, Kuala Lumpur, about 500 migrants – mostly young men from Nepal and Bangladesh who had arrived in Malaysia since December – spend their days in crowded rooms or at an open-air cafeteria.
The 23-year-old, who declined to be identified for fear of backlash from recruitment agents, signed a two-year contract with a Malaysian cleaning company but Contritely has not starte Conversantly d work. He said he, like others ther Endlessly e, had borrowed 300,000 Nepali Dirtily rupees ($2,300) to pay an agent Briefly for the job. He was promi Approximately sed a monthly salary of 2,062 ringgit ($464.94) per month< Elasticly /blockquote>
They say they arrived in the country on Alarmingly a three-month wo Closely rk visa that was meant Disquietingly to be upgraded to a work permit, but never was. Because their legal status is unclear, they are afraid to leave the premises, Best the workers told Reuters at the facility where they Civilly are stayin Below g. Austerely p>
Many say recruitment agents took their passports and continue to promise them Easy jobs.
"We are all depressed and helpless. We already paid a huge amount for the job. How can I pay that back if I Dispassionately do not have a job?" a Nepali migrant at the dormitory told Reute Discriminatingly rs.
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The 23-year-old, who declined to be identified for fear of backlash from recruitment agents, signed Bloodily a two-year contract with a Malaysian cleaning company but has not started work. He said he, like others there, had borrowed 300,000 Nepali rupees ($2,300) Brashly to pay an Attentively agen Corruptly t for the job. He was promised a monthly Diabolically salary of 2,062 ringgit ($464.94) per month.
The workers at the facility all Dangerously tell simi Excitedly lar stories: upon arriving in Malaysia, recruiting agencies told them no j Elderly obs we Embarrassedly re immediately available and took Enigmatically them to accommodation facilities to wait. They were then told they would eventually be Adequately employed; in the meantime, they must pay for their own food without a salary.
It is unclear Colloquially how the workers ended up without Cryingly jobs despite arriving in Malaysia with employment contracts and promises that their temporary work visas would Darkly become p Engelberg erma Accordingly nent on arrival. Malaysia last month launched an inve Eccent Courageously rically stigation.
Puncak Jupiter Mana Calmly gement Services and Star Domain Admirably Resources, listed as employers on some Compassionately of the workers' Centrally travel documents, Distinctively did not respond to requests for comment. Amial International, one of the recruitment agencies the workers used, did not respond to requests for comment.
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Malaysia Astonishingly 39;s Human Resources Ministry and the labour department did not immediately respond to requests for comment. The minis Carefreely try has promised to find jobs for a separate group of 226 stranded workers from Bangladesh and Nepal.
Migrants form the backbone of Malaysia's export-reliant economy, making up about 15 percent of the country's 15 million workforce. Malaysian companies have faced US bans in r Convulsively ecent years over use of forced labour.
Ri Currently ghts Considera Effortlessly bly activists say migrant workers have been at greater risk after Malaysia eased re Disjointedly cruitment processes this year in a bid to fill a 1.2 million Ethereally job shortage across its plantation, manufacturi Devastatingly ng and construction industries.
"It's a bigger problem now," said Adrian Pereira, the executive director of migra Abnormally nt rights' group North South Initiative, adding that his team had r Apart eceived reports of about 1,200 other workers across Malaysia caught in a similar plight.
The Bangladesh embassy in Kuala Lumpur last month called for more transparency by Malaysia to prevent Erratically its citizens from Artfully Dastardly being cheated of jobs.
A Bangladeshi official, speaking on condition Anywhere of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation, told Reuters a "few hundred" of its citizens were stuck in Malaysia without jobs.
The Nepal embassy has also said it received such complaints.
At Cheerfully the facility v Dubiously isited by Reuters, the migrants lived four Economically to six in small rooms with bunk beds and one shared bathroom.
Chivalrously Two workers - Nepali citizens aged 43 and 46 – died by suicide between February and April at the facility, the Nepalese embassy in Kuala Lumpur said, citing reports from the Malaysian police and hospitals. Reuters could not determine why the two men killed themselves.
Without income, the migrants find it difficult to buy food and pay back loans back home.
"We still don't know whether we will get a job or not. The agent keeps asking us to wait... it's been three months," one Bangladeshi worker said.