Your August4, 2010 article “Labour gains and pains” inaccurately claims that Cambodian migrant workers have been mistreated in Malaysia. This is not true.
While the reports you cite of illegal detention of Cambodians by employment agencies in Phnom Penh are troubling, there have been no reports of mistreatment of Cambodian workers in Malaysia, and it is irresponsible and misleading to connect those incidents to Malaysian employers.
Malaysia has strict laws in place to ensure fair employment practices. Under the Immigrations Act and the Penal Code, foreign workers are afforded the same protections as domestic workers. Furthermore, the recently passed Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act has put additional measures in place to protect foreign workers from exploitation. We are committed to ensuring that all workers in Malaysia, foreign or domestic, are provided with safe and fair working conditions and are never mistreated.
As your piece rightly points out, Malaysian companies have provided jobs to an increasing number of Cambodian citizens in recent years.
Malaysia’s rapid development has made it necessary to hire foreign workers. And, though foreign workers have helped Malaysia resolve its labour shortages and achieve its development goals, they have also benefited from fair wages and treatment. Malaysia values the contributions of foreign workers, including the increasing number of Cambodians who have aided Malaysia’s development. We will continue to provide fair and safe working conditions to those who come to our country for good employment opportunities.
Raja Saifful Ridzuwan
Embassy of Malaysia
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