Dodgy agents, third party problems the root cause of undocumented immigrants, says activists

21 Feb 2023 08:00am
Undocumented immigrants detained in a raid
Undocumented immigrants detained in a raid

SHAH ALAM - Dodgy agents and third party problems are one of the root causes of undocumented immigrants in the country, say activists.

Migrant rights activist Josh Hong said it is mainly because of dodgy agents who recruit foreign workers and cheat them and they end up being jobless and undocumented in Malaysia.

"When Malaysia recruits migrant workers from other countries, many of them came through agents and these agents are dodgy.

"The immigrant workers have been promised a job but when they arrive in Malaysia. They are told to 'go and look for a job by yourself'," Hong told Sinar Daily.

Some immigrants are promised a job in restaurants but are given construction jobs," he added.

Hong said low wages, long working hours are also one of the main reasons for the foreign workers to escape and eventually live as an undocumented immigrant.

"In situations like this, the immigrants are cheated. Under the international labour organisation commission of force labour, this is 'deception'.

"They could end up in a forced labour so they just run away and become undocumented.

"These workers don't have proper documentation because they could have been cheated by agents or could have escaped from their previous jobs," he added.

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When asked if the government should issue them a work permit, Migrant Care Malaysia Representative Alex Ong said government policies are crucial when it comes to national security issues to develop a stable society.

For example, he said the issues of racial tension among different local ethic groups Malaysia requires a lot of afford.

"We cannot have additional problems from foreigners with different social cultural values, for example south Asian migrants are different from Malaysians and Indonesians share common roots but different values. It takes time for assimilation and the integration process to take place.

"We have more than 150,000 refugees which government should allow them to apply for work permit too?," he added.

Sinar recently reported on a village build by undocumented immigrants for seven years in Cyberjaya.

This is the result of an operation conducted by the immigration department at the village tucked witihn a forest and hill, here, last week.