Even after 4 years of submitting the report to the Cabinet of Malaysia, there has been no change in the policy regarding foreign workers. The Committee on Foreign Workers has requested Putrajaya to release the report. The committee wants urgent implementation of the recommendations.
According to the Free Malaysia Today news, the cabinet committee called on employers, recruitment agencies and enforcement agencies to stop the abuse of foreign workers.
The recommendations made by the committee to correct policies related to foreign workers expressed deep disappointment. The problems the committee identified four years ago still persist.
This was said in a statement on the occasion of the four year anniversary of the submission of the report to the Cabinet. Based on the allegations of corruption related to the recruitment of foreign workers by the Ministry of Human Resources, the Special Committee on Foreign Worker Management has also expressed deep concern, “Foreign worker recruitment (selection), employment (employment) and repatriation must be accurate, transparent, and fair. These basic principles should be the permanent pillars of the government in the management of foreign workers in Malaysia. “
Besides, the committee report has been made public and the government has been urged to urgently implement the recommendations. The report is currently kept confidential under the Official Secrets Act.
The report contained 40 recommendations that called for urgent changes and reforms, chief among them eliminating corruption and nepotism in the appointment of service providers (agents).
It also recommended an end to the abuse of all foreign workers, both legal and illegal, by employers and enforcement agencies in the selection, recruitment and employment of workers.
The then Pakatan Harapan coalition government’s cabinet (led by Dr Mahathir) appointed a committee headed by Supreme Court Appellate Division judge Hishammuddin Yunus in August 2018. The committee submitted initial recommendations to then Home Minister Mohiuddin Yasin and Human Resources Minister M Kula Segaran in January 2019. The committee then presented the full report to the Cabinet on May 22, 2019. Kula said that one recommendation was not implemented.
Prior to the submission of this report, the news media were requested to cover national issues such as foreign workers’ salaries, protection of workers’ rights, housing conditions of foreign workers.
The committee also held meetings with 15 source countries of Malaysian foreign worker recruitment on worker protection including selection, recruitment, work, salary, allowances, housing, legalization, arrest, harassment, treatment, abuse of middlemen, difficulties in obtaining visas, hostage-taking, unhindered return to home country. According to embassy sources, the Bangladesh High Commission presented various recommendations regarding return etc.