Malaysians warned to be cautious when accepting jobs overseas

11 Feb 2019 / 12:23 H.

PETALING JAYA: If it is too good to be true, then it probably is. That is the advice from Transparency International-Malaysia (TI-M) president Datuk Akhbar Satar to Malaysians who are approached by agents offering high-paying jobs overseas.

He was commenting on a case in which 47 Malaysians were detained in Cambodia after they were promised US$1,500 (RM6,100) per month to work in Poipet, Bantey Meanchey province, but were instead treated like “bonded slaves”.

Cambodia’s Khmer Times reported the victims as saying they had deposited US$300 (RM1,220) each into a Malaysian bank account to secure the jobs.

“We must not be greedy, and practise caution. If it’s too good to be true, that’s because it is. And usually, you’ll just end up in trouble,” Akhbar said yesterday.

Wisma Putra had last week confirmed the detention of the 47 Malaysians, purportedly for alleged involvement in illegal online gambling activities, but Foreign Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah said the ministry believed it was a job scam instead.

Julau MP Larry W.S. Sng had also recently said the majority of those detained, aged between 19 and 44, were from poor families and were enticed to work in Cambodia after being offered lucrative salaries.

Akhbar said it was important for those who were offered jobs to check the background of the employing company first.

“If we are going to accept jobs overseas, then I think it is also important to inform and check with our embassies in that country. At least they know you are there, and they can also help check the companies.”

Akhbar advised Malaysians to instead look for jobs locally even if it meant earning slightly less, as they would be safer here and also contribute to the country’s economy, apart from being able to stay close to family and friends.

Meanwhile, International Labour Organisation technical officer Jodelen Mitra said it was vital for proper screening to be conducted on the victims to determine if deception and other indicators of forced labour and trafficking were present.

“Also, such indicators may point to other evidence of coercion.”

A Malaysian delegation will meet Cambodian Justice Minister Ang Vong Vathana this week to seek the release of the 47 Malaysians, who were arrested in December.

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