Malaysia is one of Asia's biggest employers of foreign labour. But recently, cases of deaths, abuse and forced labour have come to light. What is going on? Who is protecting these migrant workers?
PETALING JAYA: Nepalese migrant workers forced to return by Malaysian authorities have confided to their media back home that they were subjected to abuse, starvation and torture in detention camp following their arrests for not having a visa.
The Nepal Republic’s media website called The Republica reported that 40-year-old Krishna Neupane was forced to strip naked and tortured, prior to being sent back to Nepal.
“I underwent such torture four times in prison and twice in a detention camp.
“After I was forcibly stripped, the police asked me to walk on my knees while holding my ears.
“They made me do physical exercises against my will and would beat me whenever I refused,” he said.
Nuepane recalled that he weighed 94 kg prior to his arrest but that after being starved repeatedly for 10 months both in prison and a detention camp, his weight had dropped to a mere 38 kilograms by the time he left for home.
Neupane admitted that he entered Malaysia illegally via Bangladesh in 2011 after paying Rs120,000 to an employment agency for a work-permit and a hotel job in Malaysia. He explained however that he was “traded” to another employer to be hired as a security guard instead. He also said his work-permit never came.
Although he was promised a salary of RM1,000, he was only paid RM600 and told to work overtime.
The authorities finally arrested him in 2014 and detained him until the Nepal Embassy issued travel papers for him to fly back home.
Another 40-year-old Narayan Gelal was also in the same detention centre with Neupane and said, “Security personnel at the jail and the detention camps entertained themselves by torturing us in various ways, such as chaining us outside until we were scorched and beating us up badly.”
At least three other detainees, now back home, also corroborated the story to The Republica.
Nepali Foreign Minister Mahendra Bahadur Pandey reportedly told the online portal the matter was of grave concern.
“We have asked our embassy in Malaysia to dig out the truth. We are going to investigate the matter thoroughly,” he said.
Source: Free Malaysia Today
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