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Indians duped in work scam

Contributed by Anonymous on Sunday, February 26 @ 17:46:42 CST

Foreign WorkersMonday February 27, 2006, The Star

By LIM SHIE-LYNN

KUALA LUMPUR: They came to Malaysia to work so that they can have a better life and paid between RM7,000 and RM11,000 to agents who promised that they would get decent work and pay.


However, their dreams were dashed the moment they stepped into Malaysia when they realised they were part of an elaborate scam.

The physical work they were made to do was nothing like what they were promised and the pay they received was meagre. Many were not paid at all.

Not able to put up with the situation anymore, they left their jobs and sought help from the Indian High Commission in Jalan Duta here.

The workers there were 150 of them when The Star checked on Friday have been sleeping under the stars on the pavement of nearby roads every night. Many had suitcases and boxes of electronic goods with them.

If it rained, they would stand in an abandoned bungalow opposite the High Commission because there would not be any room to lie down.

The bungalow does not have water or functioning toilets.

Some of them have been doing this for more than a month.

R.C. Murugan, 25, from Tamil Nadu, has been doing this for the past 15 days. He came to Malaysia earlier this year.

I was promised an office job but ended up carrying gunny sacks at a supermarket, Murugan said.

He added that the contract with his employer stipulated that he would not be receiving his salary for six months.

I was also told that I would be working eight hours a day, but instead, I was working for 18 hours a day, he added.

Srinivas Pitla, 25, and Kisearam Malle, 28, were only given a meal a day for a 12-hour workday.

In India, we were told that the salary would be RM1,200 a month.When we came here, we were told our pay was RM300. Even that, we have not received, they said.

A spokesman from the High Commission said the Malaysian Foreign Ministry had been notified of the situation.

The High Commission had also contacted the Malaysian agents, he said.

Meanwhile, a Good Samaritan has stepped in to help the workers.

Retired police officer Goh Chin Hee, 78, his wife Frances, 58, and the rest of his family have taken it upon themselves to feed them.

Goh said they have been providing dinner since Feb 21.

We will continue to do this when we are able to do so, he said, adding that every meal cost him around RM150.

Gohs daughter from a previous marriage, Alice, 54, said they were shocked to see a group of men begging for food, when they passed by the area.

I thought there were only six of them but when I brought 12 roti canai, 35 guys appeared, she said.

Other Good Samaritans have also been providing the workers with food.

Goh hoped the authorities would step in so that the workers would not need to endure such conditions any further.

They only wish to go home, he said.

 
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