Local people were found to be masterminds

 Kuala Lumpur: Tens of thousands of foreign worker agents have been found to exist in the country, thus making it difficult for the government’s efforts to combat the dumping of undocumented foreign workers who now reach nearly four million people.

 It is understood that there are several categories of illegal agents that exist in this country including agents that set up companies but are not registered with the Labor Department (JTK), individuals who marry Malaysians and become agents and foreign workers in countries that recruit their own citizens.

More disappointing, the presence of agents from the supplier countries involved who entered the country as local agents to directly contact employers in the country.

 The existence of agents like this and irresponsible employers, causes the dumping of undocumented foreign workers in large numbers, whether they have just entered Malaysia or are already in the country but run away from their employers.

 More worryingly, the local people themselves were also found to be the masterminds who not only cooperated to bring in the foreign workers involved, but also incited them to flee.

 The president of the National Organization of Malaysian Private Employment Agencies (PIKAP), Fiona Low, said the country is currently struggling with the dumping of illegal foreign workers (PATI) who are so numerous that the actual data of their existence is still not available.

He said, things were made worse by the emergence of agents who ‘grew like mushrooms after the rain’ who were found responsible for creating undocumented foreign workers in the country.

 He said, the current situation is very worrying because the actual number of undocumented foreign workers may have reached four times the registered number.

 “Based on this number, it is not impossible that agents who do not have this license or those who act individually are also numerous or reach thousands of people.

 “These companies are not only not registered with JTK but some are married to our people and become agents to bring family or friends here. Many also do this individually.

 “There are too many of them and some of them take the opportunity to incite workers who entered legally to run away and work elsewhere,” he told BH, here, yesterday.

 Yesterday, BH reported that hundreds of foreigners who claimed to have been cheated by employment agents walked en masse in an area of this district causing public annoyance, and have been arrested by the police.

 The video of the hundreds of foreign workers involved walking en masse went viral on social media since last night causing public concern and the Kota Tinggi District Police Chief, Superintendent Hussin Zamora, confirmed the incident happened last Wednesday.

There is a request from the employer

 Commenting further, Fiona said, the existence of foreign workers without documents is due to requests from employers.

 “It doesn’t happen if there is only one party offering services, instead there is a ‘buy and sell’ process between agents and employers. If all employers don’t dare to hire workers without these documents, then workers don’t dare to run away or enter Malaysia.

 “In terms of price, these workers or assistants are admittedly lower but there are too many cases of employers being deceived by those who claim to be agents.

 “So even though the price is low, the risk they bear is also high, compared to using legal workers,” he said.

 Commenting on a group of 171 Bangladeshi foreigners who walked en masse after claiming to have been cheated by an employment agent, Fiona said that the matter is still under investigation by the authorities but it may happen due to alleged issues.

 “What we should look into is whether these people enter directly between the supplier and the employer, through an agent who claims to be a negotiator, or whether there is a game effect of certain parties,” he said.

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