Treat foreign workers with humanity – Shahril

One could not be a true Malay, Malaysian, or even Muslim by treating foreign workers without humanity, said former Umno leader Shahril Hamdan.

Speaking on the ‘Keluar Sekejap’ podcast yesterday, he urged the local community to treat foreign workers with humanity and not make them their lives worse.

“Some of our viewers have extreme nationalistic views. It saddens me to see the way Malays talk about Bangladeshis, Pakistanis, and Rohingyas – who are refugees.

“They talk about immigrants as if they are not the same as us,” he said.

Shahril and the podcast’s co-host Khairy Jamaluddin cover the issue of foreign workers, the problems the group faces in Malaysia, and the country’s dependence on them.

Shahril said that among the negative statements thrown at foreign workers are that they are ‘evil’ and ‘difficult’.

On Dec 25, the Immigration Department detained 171 foreign workers from Bangladesh who had recently tried to file a police report against their agents.

Kota Tinggi District Police Chief Hussin Zamora reportedly said they were brought into Malaysia legally but their agents failed to provide jobs after three months.

“So, the Bangladeshi decided to walk to the Bayu Damai police station, about 10km from their accommodation, to file a police report on Dec 20,” he said.

A day later, the Ministry of Human Resources stepped in and said an investigation would be conducted into the matter.

“We will not hesitate to take strict action against those found guilty,”HR minister Steven Sim reportedly said.

On Jan 16, in a press conference with Home Minister Saifuddin Nasution Ismail, Sim warned defaulting employers that failure to pay wages is a violation of the country’s labor laws.

“Employees are entitled to their wages even if the work is not provided by the employers. Therefore, that is our position now, the ministry will consider workers who enter Malaysia, they must be paid whether they work or not,” he said.

Meanwhile, in dealing with the problem of foreign workers in Malaysia, Shahril reminded the public that immigrants do not choose to be born in countries where conflict is prevalent or where economic opportunities are limited, rather it is destiny.

“(Such rude talk) is against our religion. I urge all of us to take a humanitarian approach when dealing with immigrants.

“If we cross the line in something, let us turn to humanity, not the path where we deal with our fellow human beings in a wrong way,” he added.

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