The Department of Labour Peninsular Malaysia (JTKSM) raided an illegal premise that failed to adhere to the Minimum Standards of Housing, Accommodation and Employee Facilities Act 1990 [Act 446] and rescued 226 foreign workers in Bandar Baru Nilai here today.
Human Resources Minister V. Sivakumar said all of the workers, comprising Bangladesh and Nepal foreign nationals and in their 20s to 40s, came into the country through foreign worker quotas approved for three cleaning companies and a manufacturing company.
He said they were placed temporarily at the transit accommodation premise about 40 days ago and some of them have not yet found work as promised.
“Earlier, we inspected the transit home and it was very disappointing to see the workers living in those conditions. They were clueless as to what was happening and were very worried. Some were even shedding tears. From their distraught faces, it is clear they are emotionally disturbed.
“We noticed they were three levels with each floor, approximately 1,800 square feet, accommodating over 60 individuals. This is a violation of the law and dangerous. If there happens to be a fire and so on, what would be their fate?” he told reporters after the raid.
Sivakumar warned employers that the Human Resources Ministry will not compromise on such matters and reminded them to provide suitable and decent accommodation and to ensure there are job openings for foreign workers before they are brought into the country.
Following the raid, Sivakumar said four investigation papers were opened in accordance with Section 24D of Act 446 against four employers involved in the case.
He said all of the foreigners will also be moved immediately today to more conducive premises located about 30 kilometres away to ensure their welfare and safety.
“In addition, we will also find them new employers who are really in need of workers,” he said, adding that the raid was carried out after the ministry received a tip-off from the Bangladesh High Commission.
Meanwhile, checks by newsmen found that the foreigners were made to sleep on bunk beds and old mattresses, with only two to three industrial fans in sight.
The area was also poorly lit and not well-ventilated. — Bernama