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Complaint on Malaysian jail

AMOTHER from Kep province has filed a complaint with Adhoc after learning her daughter was being detained in a Malaysian prison, where she’s a migrant worker.

Citing phone conversations with Malaysian prison guards, Mey Soy said her daughter, 30-year-old Mey Vieth, had been in prison for more than two weeks on charges of breach of contract after she fled her employer over excessive working hours.

“My daughter was worked very hard – from 4am until the afternoon, and from 1 pm until midnight,” said Mey Soy. “She had no free time, so she decided to run away from the house.”

Mey Soy said her daughter left for work in Malaysia in August after securing a job through a broker with the Success Training Centre.

Suth Veasna, an assistant at STC, said he didn’t know for certain if Mey Vieth was detained by Malaysian authorities.

“But if she was detained, it is easier for us because we will do an intervention for her and we will bring her back to Cambodia,” he said.

Both the Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Labor said they had not yet received information about the case.

However, Ho Vuthy, deputy director of the Ministry of Labor, said he would contact relevant authorities and embassies to intervene if the migrant worker in question was being detained.

Sim Sorphea, Adhoc’s coordinator in Kampot province, said she received Mey Soy’s complaint and would be sending it to the group’s head office in Phnom Penh for investigation.

The government finalised a draft sub-decree in September designed to protect migrant workers, and among its provisions was a requirement that recruitment agencies deposit US$100,000 with the Ministry of Labour to fund repatriation of workers facing problems abroad.

Nhem Kimhuoy, an official at the Ministry of Labour, said at the time that the government was looking for ways to work with recruitment agencies to ensure that migrant workers were informed of their rights before leaving their home countries.

“They need to be aware that when they are in Malaysia they ... can always find assistance in many ways if they have a problem,” he said.

Nhem Kimhouy also said  that the sub-decree on migrant workers was expected to be approved by the government “at the end of this year or early next year”.



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