Construction company blacklisted for abandoning Bangladeshi workers in Cheras

KUALA LUMPUR: A construction company that brought in the 93 Bangladeshi men and promised them non-existent jobs in Cheras has been blacklisted, with its remaining quotas revoked.

Action will also be taken against them using the relevant laws.

In a joint statement, Home Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution and Human Resources Minister Steven Sim revealed that investigations uncovered the abandonment of these workers, left without employment or adequate accommodation by their employers.

The ministers said the employers failed to uphold the basic welfare standards for these workers, encompassing shelter and sustenance.

This stern response follows two operations initiated by the ministries, prompted by reports circulating on the news outlets.

"The Home Affairs Ministry coordinated an operation led by the Putrajaya Immigration Department, supported by officers from the National Strategic Office of the National Anti-Trafficking Council (NSO MAPO).

"Simultaneously, the Human Resources Ministry conducted investigations through the Labour Department, focusing on employers' compliance with labour laws.

"We caution all employers engaging foreign labour to prioritise workers' welfare and adhere to national legal obligations," they said in a statement today.

The ministries have outlined six actions, including legal measures under the Passport Act 1966, Anti-Trafficking in Persons and Anti-Smuggling of Migrants Act 2007, Employment Act 1955, and the Minimum Standards of Housing, Accommodation, and Employee Facilities Act 1990.

The Minimum Standards of Housing, Accommodation and Employee Facilities Act 1990 provides general penalties. If convicted, the perpetrator could face fines of up to RM50,000 for each offence due to neglecting employee salary payments and not providing suitable living conditions.

Furthermore, employers will be blacklisted from making new foreign worker employment applications under Section 60K of the Labor Act 1955.

Their remaining quotas for foreign workers will also be cancelled.

Previously, local media reported that more than 100 Bangladeshi workers have been without jobs since arriving in Malaysia in November, according to migrant labour rights activist Andy Hall.

Hall said the workers had paid recruitment fees of between RM19,500 and RM21,700 to secure employment in Malaysia, where they were promised good living facilities and high-paying jobs.

He said they were recruited by a construction firm in Cheras.

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