Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Asahi Kosei Update: Thiha Soe and Aung San being held separately in undisclosed location


The 2 workers who did not sign are Thiha Soe (PP No: A 458011) and Aung San (PP No: A432863), whereby Aung San was the worker who signed the complaint for and on behalf of all the workers when the complaint was lodged at the Human Rights Commission on 8/2/2011.

Thiha Soe and Aung San were then handed over by the employer to the recruitment agent, possibly to send them back to Burma. Both workers have been separated and taken to different undisclosed location. Both workers do not want to be sent back to Burma, and want to continue working at  Asahi Kosei(M) Sdn Bhd factory in Balakong. 


URGENT:- Stop ASAHI KOSEI (M) SDN. BHD from sending Thiha Soe (PP No: A 458011) back to Burma

31 Burmese Migrant Workers, working at ASAHI KOSEI (M) SDN. BHD., Lot 3377, Jalan Perusahaan Utama, Taman Industri Selesa Jaya, 43300 Balakong, Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia raised some grievances with their employer, and the response of ASAHI KOSEI (M) SDN. BHD (and the recruitment agent) was to threathen, deprive the workers of their cooking material and electricity, ...and this threats included threats of termination and deportation.
Following the earlier posting, more information have been obtained from the workers concerned through the assistance of Burma Campaign Malaysia.
On 7/2/2011, the workers say that a gang of persons (which reasonably could be presumed to be agents of the employer) came to threathen the workers at their hostel. The police was also alleged to have been present at that time. Before this group of persons left took all the cooking material(TV, gas barrel, refrigerator, table fan and rice cooker) . They switched off the electric main switch, so the workers were left in the dark. 
They also allegedly took two workers, without their consent, to the KLIA International Airport stating that they will be sending them back to Burma (Myanmar). Fortunately, the said 2 workers managed to escape and run away.

The Malaysian Human Rights Commission (SUHAKAM) have been notified on 8/2/2011. A complaint has also been lodged at SUHAKAM. The workers also have gone to Malaysian Trade Union Congress(MTUC) for assistance. 

ASAHI KOSEI (M) SDN. BHD, the employer, the recruitment agent and the affected workers had a meeting.

ASAHI KOSEI (M) SDN. BHD's proposal:-
- Will increase salary to RM23 per day (previously it was RM20) 
- There will be NO shift allowance (previously RM2/day was paid as shift allowance and RM30 as monthly allowance)
- That if worker is absent for 2 days in one month, they will deduct RM-50 (previously for ever day absent, the employer deducted RM50)
- Hostel Charges shall be reduced to RM30 per month (previously it was RM50 per month)
- If the workers agree, they must sign a new contract now
All workers, save 2, i.e. Thiha Soe (PP No: A 458011)  and another allegedly agreed. The employer allegedly said that they will be sending Thiha Soeback to Burma soon. [They have already taken Thia Soe away and no one knows where]. With regard the other worker who refused to sign, I have no information at the moment.

What ASAHI KOSEI (M) SDN. BHD did, including the manner in which they forced the workers to accept the new terms and sign a new contract then and there, was so wrong. What choice did the workers have? Sign or get deported.. Let us also not forget the use of hoodlums, threats, taking of cooking material, cutting electricity at the hostel, the physical taking of 2 to the aiirport for alleged deportation...

What will the workers do after this? Will they pursue their claim through the Labour Department/Court? 
Even if they do not, will the Labour Department and the relevant authorities take any action against the employer, ASAHI KOSEI (M) SDN. BHD, and the recruitment agent.

Or will all be forgotten...and ASAHI KOSEI (M) SDN. BHD, and the recruitment agent and their agents get off scott free. If so, then would it not be an endorsement of all the actions of this employer?
I believe that at the very least, there must be a sincere apology and maybe a payment of a small sum of money as compensation/damages... More maybe should be paid for the 2 workers that was 'kidnapped' and taken to the KLIA for deportation...
With regard to this worker who refused to sign a NEW contract, the employer should not deport him but allow him to continue to work here in Malaysia. The said worker,  Thiha Soe (PP No: A 458011)  wants to continue working at ASAHI KOSEI (M) SDN. BHD - he definitely does not want to be sent back to Burma. But ASAHI KOSEI (M) SDN. BHD is adamant, i.e. sign new contract NOW or we send you back to Burma.

Latest...(about 1.00 am)
The employer is forcibly taking Thiha Soe (PP No: A 458011) to KLIA now to be sent back to Burma. Thiha Soe does not want to be deported...he wants to continue working at ASAHI KOSEI (M) SDN. BHD.
[A stranger in a foreign land, where he has been for only 6 months, certainly with no real grasp of the local language, they would so easily oppress him. Even if an Immigration Officer ask him whether he wants to go back or stay, he may not be able to comprehend the question at all. Certainly, he does not have his own translator...but we do know that the last position taken by Thiha  was that he did not want to be deported, and that he wants to stay and work here...]

URGENT ACTION NEEDED  To stop the wrongful sending back of Thiha Soe (PP No: A 458011) to Burma. They are already on the way to KLIA.
Why do employers do this so fast? To basically deprive the worker the chance to pursue justice. If the worker is not in Malaysia, he cannot file a complaint at the Labour Department, police station, Human Rights Commission, etc - and even if he had already done so, if the worker(complainant) is not physically present for the hearing...then the process cannot be continued and the employer (and other wrong-doers) get off scott free... 

What can you do?
Urge ASAHI KOSEI (M) SDN. BHD to immediately stop their attempt to send the worker, Thiha Soe (PP No: A 458011),  back to Burma. [Tel : (60) 3 89614360  Fax: (60) 3 89614354, Email :   Website:]
Urge SUHAKAM, police, Immigration Department, MPs, ADUNs, Ministers, etc to intervene and stop the sending back of  Thiha Soe (PP No: A 458011)
** I have still received no e-mail response from  Asahi Kosei(M) Sdn Bhd.

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