A Malaysian company that reportedly abused Bangladeshi and Nepali workers would face 42 charges, said the country's Human Resources Minister M Kulasegaran yesterday.
WRP Asia Pacific, the Malaysian gloves-making company, would be charged for failing to provide proper living conditions and not paying its Bangladeshi and Nepali workers in time, he added.
Around 2,000 staff members of the company went on a strike protesting the abuses last week, reported Malay Mail, a Malaysian newspaper.
“The living condition is terrible. We are enforcing it strictly,” Kulasegaran told reporters after presenting aid to villagers of Kampung Tai Lee.
The ministry investigation since August last year revealed the company had breached labour law and there are 42 cases against them, he said.
The minister said there were 10 more companies that have caught the government's attention for its deplorable treatment of workers, but declined to reveal their names pending completion of investigations.
Kulasegaran urged employers to treat their foreign labour with the same dignity accorded to Malaysians.
“There were no complaints by their local workers as the company knows they will go to the Labour Department, but what about the foreign workers? That is not fair,” he said.
The minister pointed out that there were over one million Malaysian workers abroad and asked locals for their response if they were subject to similar abject treatment there.
WRP Chief Executive Lee Son Hong had dismissed the allegations of forced labour as “baseless”.
Around one million Bangladeshis work in Malaysia, but allegations of fraudulence, no-payment and underpayment are rife.
Malaysia suspended labour recruitment from Bangladesh since September last year on charges of monopoly by a syndicate of 10 Bangladeshi recruiting agencies and a Malaysian company.