Family of job scam victim does not want other Malaysians to go through same experience

KUANTAN: The family of Muhammad Izzat Abdul Wahab, who was tricked by a job scam syndicate before he died in Myanmar on Oct 14, does not want other Malaysians to endure a similar tragic fate.

Izzat, 28, had befriended an individual on social media who sponsored his flight tickets from Kuantan to Thailand on Oct 7.

The odd-job-worker was promised a lucrative sum of cash to travel to Bangkok for three days to collect vehicle spare parts but was instead trafficked into Tachileik, Myanmar.

The father-of-two was rescued by a non-governmental organisation (NGO) from a hotel on Oct 12 but died at a police station lock-up two days later due to difficulty breathing.

His brother Muhammad Hasmalizam, 45, hopes there would be no more such fatalities, saying no other families should endure the pain of losing their loved ones after being tricked to work abroad.

"Let whatever happened to my brother be the last. My family has experienced it and it is not going to be easy....Izzat has left behind a wife and two young children who will grow up without their father.

"I hope my brother's story will be an eye opener and lesson to other Malaysians so that they do not fall into similar traps. My brother was naive...he was not lured with a long term job but promised a short task abroad with a payment and this shows that the syndicates are becoming more advanced," he said when contacted.

Meanwhile, Hasmalizam proposed that the authorities put up more warning posters about the job scams and human trafficking syndicates at all the country's exit points.

"We have to create more public awareness especially for those from small towns about such threats. A lot has been reported in the media but people continue to fall victim to these scams so it is time to identify new measures to stop people from leaving the country to take up lucrative job offers and end up getting cheated.

"Malaysians, especially youths offered jobs abroad should inform and discuss with their respective families. This would allow the families or relatives to do the necessary work, including checking if the offer were genuine and relevant," he said, adding it was time to educate students, especially school leavers about such scams.  

On Izzat's death, Hasmalizam said his brother did not die at the immigration centre in Tachileik as reported previously but at a police station.

"We only knew the truth about his death after reaching Myanmar on Oct 20. The Malaysian embassy in Myanmar mentioned that Izzat was rescued by a NGO and taken to the police station for the documentation process due to illegal entry.

"He developed breathing difficulties at the police station lock-up and was treated at a hospital but he had refused to be warded. He wanted to return to the police station where he later again suffered breathing complications and died on Oct 14," he said.

Hasmalizam said Izzat's family expressed their appreciation to the Pahang government for their assistance to bring home his remains, the Malaysian embassy in Myanmar for all the arrangements, NGOs which had provided assistance, relatives and friends for their support.

Izzat's remains were flown out from the Yangon International Airport and arrived at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport on Oct 26 before he was buried at Kampung Peramu in Tanjung Lumpur just before midnight the same day.

Izzat, a former mosque imam, had gone to Thailand without informing his family members except his wife Nurul Diyana Mohd Shukri.

She learnt about his death after receiving a telephone from a NGO member on Oct 14.

The incident is the second death involving a Malaysian after being duped by scam syndicates abroad. 

Last year, Goi Zhan Feng, 23,  died in a hospital at a district near the Thailand-Myanmar border but his family only learnt about his death some four months later after travelling to find him.

Most Popular
Related Article
Says Stories