Over 2,000 duped migrants in Pengerang, says Azalina

PETALING JAYA: There are over 2,000 duped migrants in Pengerang, says Minister in the Prime Minister's Department (Law and Institutional Reform) Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said.

Azalina said in a post on X (formerly Twitter) on Tuesday (Dec 26) that she had reached out to Human Resources Minister Steven Sim in her capacity as the Pengerang MP as she had been told that there are about 2,500 migrants in a similar situation in her constituency.

Referring to the 171 in Immigration Department detention since Dec 20, Azalina said that this is the tip of the iceberg.

"The culprits behind this syndicate must be held accountable and immediate investigations must be carried out on who issued these permits with no jobs available," she added.

ALSO READ: Foreigners march to police station to complain about agent, get hauled up by Immigration Dept instead

On Monday (Dec 25), Kota Tinggi OCPD Supt Hussin Zamora confirmed the arrest of 171 Bangladeshi workers who had walked to the Bayu Damai police station to lodge a report against their agent.

On the workers, Supt Hussin said that they were legally brought into Malaysia and added that the agent has yet to provide them with work.

"The Bangladeshi nationals decided to walk to the Bayu Damai police station which was 10km from the accomodation to lodge a police report on Dec 20," he said.

Supt Hussin said the workers did not manage to lodge a police report after it was discovered that the agent has yet to find employment for them.

In a twist of events, he said a police report made by the army against the foreigners was received on the same day (Dec 20).

“The foreigners, aged 19 to 43 years old, were then hauled up by the Immigration Department.

“They were detained at the department’s headquarters in Setia Tropika for investigations under Section 15(1)(c) of the Immigration Act 1959/63,” he said.

Since then, Sim has said that the Human Resources Ministry has been instructed to assist the workers to find jobs on humanitarian grounds, and this was praised by Azalina in her X post.

ALSO READ: HR Ministry to summon agency linked to 171 migrant workers detained in Johor

Azalina then said that the responsibility and role of all companies involved should also be investigated to determine how legitimate migrant workers could be exploited and enticed with promises of work in Malaysia.

"These are crimes against humanity. We must not tolerate violation against human rights including in the business sector. It is time to take firm action against irresponsible businesses," she added.

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