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?
All the workers were being detained at a temporary detention depot in Sarawak after they were charged for overstaying as their work permits had expired.
Ahmad Zahid, who is also home minister, said the group would be sent home as soon as the documentation process, was completed.
“I have discussed withSarawak Chief Minister (Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg) since the Immigration Act in Sarawak is different from what we have.
“I will officially inform him of the decision (of the meeting) today (yesterday),” he told reporters when met at parliament lobby here yesterday.
Ahmad Zahid said there were 315 North Koreans in Malaysia.
North Koreans with valid visa and work permits were still allowed to stay on in this country.
All 191 North Koreans in Malaysia under the Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) programme were also permitted to continue to stay in this country.
Ahmad Zahid confirmed the body of Kim Jong-nam, the estranged half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, which was being kept at Kuala Lumpur Hospital (HKL), had been embalmed.
“Yes, the embalming of the body had been conducted. If the body is kept in the mortuary, the body might decompose. Hence, the embalming.”
Ahmad Zahid said the process was done at another location but the body had been returned to the mortuary in HKL.
Asked the latest development over negotiations with Pyongyang, he told the media to give room for the Foreign Ministry to carry out its tasks.
Bilateral ties between Malaysia and North Korea got strained after the murder of Jong-nam at KL International Airport 2 (klia2) on Feb 13 before he was to depart by flight to Macau.
Jong-nam, who entered the country using a passport bearing the name Kim Chol, was attacked by two women who swiped his face with their hands containing a chemical substance, which was later identified as VX nerve agent. He died on the way to Putrajaya Hospital.
The diplomatic spat between Kuala Lumpur and Pyongyang arose after North Korean ambassador Kang Chol made unfounded accusations and belittled Malaysia over the investigation of the murder case.
Subsequently, Kuala Lumpur decided to expel the North Korean ambassador. Kang Chol left Malaysia on March 6.
On March 7, Pyongyang banned Malaysians from leaving North Korea and in a tit-for-tat move, Kuala Lumpur took the same action against North Koreans in this country. — Bernama
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