15 stranded Indian workers to return home from Malaysia

June 27th, 2008 - 1:17 pm ICT by IANS  

Kuala Lumpur, June 27 (IANS) Fifteen Indian workers employed in three restaurants in Malaysia have sought refuge in the Indian High Commission here after their employer failed to pay their salaries for the past seven months. An Indian High Commission officer said the employer had agreed to meet mission officials to discuss the matter.

He said arrangements were being made for the 15 workers to be sent back to India. Their travel documents were with their employer and the work permit of some workers had expired, Tamil newspaper Makkal Osai reported.

One of the workers P. Palani, 40, said they had arrived from India in 2004 and started working in restaurants in Salak South and Kajang, which were owned by one person. They were paid their salaries promptly until recently.

He said they were only paid RM 600 to RM 700 ($190 to 210) a month but were required to work for 10 to 12 hours daily. They were housed in a single hall.

He hoped their employer would return their passports and settle their outstanding salaries so that they could return to India.

Indian workers, both skilled and unskilled, are among the thousands of foreigners engaged in farms, factories and homes on whom Malaysia’s burgeoning economy heavily depends.

Much of the problem for foreign workers stems from recruiting agents in Malaysia and in manpower exporting countries, while many arrive illegally and are stranded. The government employs Rala, a local para-police force, to detect illegal entrants of all nationalities who are deported.

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