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N Garden Sheds Enterprise
N Garden Sheds Enterprise JM0621850-U
+60146141388

Agents wanting a quick buck blamed for overstayers - N Garden Sheds Enterprise

Agents wanting a quick buck blamed for overstayers

14-Jan-2010

2010/01/14

By Marc Lourdes, Lydia Gomez and Veena Babulal

KUALA LUMPUR: Don't blame overstayers. Instead, point the finger at employers and agents who suck them dry and then leave them in the lurch.
Political parties and non-governmental organisations, commenting yesterday on Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak's statement that 39,046 Indians on tourist visas had "disappeared", were united in their assessment of the situation.

They said the foreigners were duped into coming to the country on tourist visas, and staying here, by employers and agents out to make a quick buck.

Migrant rights advocate Tenaganita said Indians who came to Malaysia on tourist visas usually overstayed because they had no means of returning home.

The NGO said it had uncovered many cases of Indians being duped by agents into believing tourist visas or visas-on-arrival could be used as, or converted to, work permits.

Director Florida Sandanasamy said most applicants did not have much education.

Agents appoint a third party who takes the worker's cash, passports and return tickets in the guise of processing their work permits.

"These agents disappear and the workers are forced to take whatever job they get. They work in subhuman conditions as they don't have any documents.

"They sometimes work without wages and benefits while some are subjected to sexual exploitation and sex trafficking.

"Tamils are especially vulnerable to this ruse as there were many Tamils who had migrated or worked in Malaysia and made it. This provides those who intend to migrate with a misguided sense of support.

"They pay between RM5,000 and RM8,000 to the agent up front by taking loans and mortgaging their land in India to chase the dream of making it big in Ma-laysia.

"All you need is one migrant worker returning home with a television or fancy gadget and the whole village wants to migrate to Malaysia," said Florida, adding a similar trend was also observed among Bangladeshi overstayers.

MIC vice-president Datuk M. Saravanan said the party had also received pleas for help from overstayers.

"Indian job-seekers come here mainly because employers or agents promise them jobs or work visas. When they renege on the deal, the Indians are left stranded."

He said the reason most of the "missing" Indians on tourist visas were from Chennai was because of the strong connection between Malaysia and Tamil Nadu.


"More than 60 per cent of Indians here are Tamils. So, Indian Tamils see Malaysia as a better place to get jobs."

Makkal Sakti secretary-general R. Kannan had a different take on the matter.

He said most of the Indian nationals who overstayed entered the country to work as barbers, priests and temple builders.

"They overstayed because they were not able to renew their visas and employers chose to retain them to keep the work going."

He added that the situation could be prevented if the government came up with a plan for these workers.

"There are many local businessmen who set up barber shops and a few years later find they have no workers. So they get these people who come in as tourists to work, and then they overstay."

Temple building, Kannan said, was a skill which was mainly gained in India.

"Why can't they have this kind of training here?"

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