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Indonesian Workers Exploited in Malaysia

December 17, 2012
Plain English Version

Indonesian women are being recruited to work in Malaysia. They think they are being hired for jobs in factories. The truth is they are pressed into service as domestic workers.

Recently, Malaysian immigration officers rescued 105 women. The officials said the women had been forced to work at food stalls, given little food and forced to live in a building in the port town of Klang, near Kuala Lumpur.

A few had been beaten. They were locked up and could not go anywhere. Some of the women had not been paid in six months.

Twelve people working for the recruiting agency have been arrested.

For some time there has been tension between Indonesia and Malaysia over the treatment of Indonesians. Indonesia claims the Malayan authorities have not acted fast enough and with enough effort to find and punish the exploiters.

One of the workers said they worked from 5:00AM to 8:00PM. She went on, “My hands and legs were swollen from the long hours of work every day. The agent only provided us with two meals a day. There was not enough food and the workload was heavy.”

A Malaysian official said, “If one Indonesian commits a crime, the government is very quick to react, but when a crime involves Malaysians, they are very slow.”

An advocate said the authorities have to provide better protection for domestic workers.

The New York Times

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