Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Malaysia called out on MoU

Malaysia called out on MoU

Malaysia called out on MoU

Malaysia needs to start “paying attention” to a worker protection agreement with Cambodia that has languished for almost two years, a Ministry of Interior official said at a meeting yesterday.

The meeting, which included officials from the ministries of Interior, Women’s Affairs, Tourism, Foreign Affairs and other related ministries, along with NGO partner Winrock, aimed to find ways Cambodia can combat human trafficking and facilitate the signing of memoranda of understanding (MoU) with countries like Malaysia to protect workers.

“We want to make sure the MoU is signed on time to protect our citizens, but it seems that Malaysia is not paying attention,” said interior ministry under-secretary Sieng Lapresse.

According to Moeun Tola, head of the Community Legal Education Center’s labour program, Cambodia began drafting the MoU with Malaysia nearly two years ago, suggesting a poor outlook for its speedy signing.

“There is no evidence that the Malaysian government has a commitment to the improvement of migrant worker conditions,” he said.

In July, Malayisa cancelled a meeting to negotiate the MoU at the last minute.

The draft MoU has so far remained confidential between the governments, said Tola, who along with An Bunhak, president of the Association of Cambodian Recruiting Agencies, and Chuon Chamrong, Head of the Women and Children Section of rights NGO Adhoc, had not seen the draft’s contents.

Weak enforcement and a lack of NGO input hobbles MoUs, Tola said, adding that migrant conditions in Thailand have barely improved since a 2003 MoU was signed.

To contact the reporter on this story: Sen David at [email protected]
With assistance from Justine Drennan

MOST VIEWED

  • Phnom Penh’s Jet’s Container Night Market shuts down

    The famous Jet’s Container Night Market in central Phnom Penh has shut down due to the high cost of the land rental, company representatives claim. Jet’s Container Night Market is the largest such market in Phnom Penh. It operated for just over two

  • Hun Sen rejects ‘rift’ rumours spread by ‘stupid gangsters’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday denied a “rift” among top leaders of the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), and rejected claims that Senate president Say Chhum and Interior Minister Sar Kheng were set to be removed from their positions as rumours spread by “gangsters”.

  • EU ambassador to Cambodia: Rights a ‘work in progress’

    The EU ambassador to Cambodia has called human rights “a work in progress” and said the 28-nation bloc has “carefully” noted last week’s statement by the government on taking further steps to strengthen democracy and the political sphere in the Kingdom. The EU marked

  • Assembly passes amendment to Political Party Law Article 45

    The National Assembly on Thursday unanimously approved a proposed amendment to Article 45 of the Law on Political Parties in a move that could pave the way for former senior opposition leaders banned for five years to return to the political stage. As expected, the 115 ruling