Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Bid to free 9 migrant workers from Burma detained by Immigration (Malay Mail, 31/10/2011)

Bid to free workers

Nine from Myanmar wrongfully held by Immigration, says NGO 
Meena Lakshana
Monday, October 31st, 2011 11:29:00Malay Mail, 31/10/2011, Bid to free workers

PETALING JAYA: Nine Myanmar factory workers have been wrongfully detained by the Immigration Department since Oct 4, representatives of a non-profit organisation (NGO) said yesterday.

Burma Campaign Malaysia director Tun Tun said the workers were detained after failing to provide their work permits or visa documents to officers from the Shah Alam Immigration office who went to their apartment in Section 6, Kota Damansara, where they were staying.

"The officers went to the apartment at 1am after a complaint about noise was lodged against the workers by their neighbours," he told The Malay Mail.

Tun Tun claimed the outsourcing company that recruited the workers were in the midst of preparing the documents.

He said the workers had arrived in Malaysia in June.

He also said the workers' employer was holding their passports.

Tun Tun said the workers were being held at the KL International Airport (KLIA) Immigration detention centre in Sepang.

"They paid US$850 (RM2,604) each to come to Malaysia to work and were made to believe their documents would be ready on their arrival," he said.

He said the outsourcing company had shortchanged the workers as their documents were still not prepared.

"Every time we call them to ask about it, they would give us different answers," he said.

Tun Tun said Burma Campaign Malaysia was working with the Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) for their release.

MTUC industrial relations director Peter Kandiah said officers from the Immigration Department should conduct thorough investigations before detaining foreign workers without proper documentation.

"Why weren't the outsourcing company's staff remanded?" he asked.

"I'm upset with the Immigration Department for the manner they are handling the matter."

Kandiah said the department had yet to answer his queries on the reasons for detaining the Myanmar workers.

"I've been trying to contact them since last Thursday but to no avail," he said.

"I was given the runaround when I visited the Immigration Department office. I even left my contact details but no one got back to me."

Immigration Department director-general Datuk Alias Ahmad said he needed to check the details of the case before commenting. - Malay Mail, 31/10/2011, Bid to free workers

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