The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will investigate exorbitant passport fees for migrant workers in Malaysia, the ministry’s spokesman said late last week, following an investigation by The Post that found Cambodians in the country were forced to pay up to $800 for renewals.
“The consular affairs department of the ministry has been instructed to investigate the issue mentioned in The Post this morning,” Chum Sounry, spokesman for the Foreign Affairs Ministry, said on Thursday.
A handful of migrant workers said they had paid fees significantly higher than their monthly salaries through agencies, because the Cambodian Embassy in Kuala Lumpur does not renew passports.
Sounry confirmed that Cambodia does not offer such services through any of its embassies. Asked for an explanation, he said the ministry would need to “investigate the issue”.
“The embassy says it’s because they don’t have the machines to do it,” said Irene Xavier, coordinator of the NGO Malaysian Committee for Asian Women. “The embassy should find a way to renew the passport in the country itself so there’s no need to go to agents.”