BUKIT LANJAN: The Malaysian diaspora … 93% of job seekers admit they would consider working overseas!

Amirul has no regrets taking on a job as a factory operator where he stays at a rent-free workers’ hostel and gets paid £60 (RM330) a day. – The Malaysian Insight pic by Hasnoor Hussain, September 14, 2017.

Struggling here, Malaysian grads look to illegal blue-collar jobs abroad

Updated about 6 months ago · Published on 14 Sep 2017 7:00AM
FRUSTRATED that he could not save anything, Amirul left his job as a business development executive at an oil-and-gas company in Kuala Lumpur last year to search for work illegally in the United Kingdom. Almost a year on, the 27-year-old said he has no regrets taking on a job as a factory operator where he stays at a rent-free workers’ hostel and gets paid £60 (RM330) a day and still gets to send home at least RM1,000 a month to his mother. “In Malaysia, my salary was around RM3,000, and every day, I spent RM10 to RM20 for food. In the UK, raw food is cheap,” said the graduate with a Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL) qualification. Amirul, who did not want to give his full name, said he would have been lucky to be able to save 30% of his wages every month back in KL, whereas he now saves up 50%-80% of his salary in the UK … https://www.themalaysianinsight.com/s/14565/ 

BUKIT LANJAN: The Malaysian diaspora … 93% of job seekers admit they would consider working overseas!

The mStar report titled “5,000 Malaysians are illegals in South Korea” must serve as an eyeopener for Malaysians and Malaysia.

Not only in South Korea, there are thousands of other Malaysians working illegally across the globe.

“The problem of Malaysians choosing to work illegally overseas is likely to be a serious issue that is perhaps overlooked or ignored by the authorities,” Gerakan Deputy Speaker Syed Abdul Razak Alsagoff said.

“Perhaps, it is also a problem that is so complex that it is impossible for any form of enforcement to check or stop the Malaysian diaspora.

“Malaysians are free to travel overseas but whether they choose to remain overseas illegally to work is another matter.

“Whether they have been lured there to work and be cheated is also another matter. The fact is, according to poll recruiting expert Hays, 93% of current job seekers admit they would consider leaving Malaysia to work overseas,” he added.

Most Malaysians would consider leaving to work overseas

In Malaysia 93 per cent of current jobseekers admit they would consider leaving Malaysia to work overseas.

In the poll by recruiting experts Hays, 84 per cent would leave for better job opportunitiescareer development or exposure, while 9 per cent would leave for lifestyle factors. Just 7 per cent would not consider leaving Malaysia to work overseas. The same poll was run across Hays’ network in Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, China and Japan. A comparison of the findings shows that Singapore has the most globally-mobile workforce in Asia, with 97 per cent of jobseekers admitting they would consider leaving Singapore to work overseas. Of these, 85 per cent would leave for better job opportunities, career development or exposure, while 12 per cent would leave for lifestyle factors … for more, go to https://www.hays.com.my/press-releases/HAYS_259353

Syed Razak, who is Gerakan’s nominee to contest N.37 Bukit Lanjan in the coming 14th General Election, said the federal government should consider the Malaysian diaspora problem as “serious”.

“Malaysians are being treated as harshly as we are treating Indonesian workers in Malaysia. Perhaps, that is life and life’s cycle.

“But, we must not just ignore the problem. Surely, we can do something about it,” he added.

Syed Razak said: “There are many questions and answers that need to be dealt with to help ease the Malaysia diaspora issue.

> Why are so many Malaysians wanting to take the risk to work or work illegally overseas?

> If they can take up menial work overseas, why can’t they do the same in Malaysia?

> Can’t our government, through its embassies and consulates, ‘rescue’ the “stranded Malaysians”, bring them home and make it mandatory for them to work for at least five years, thus contributing to nation building.”

“Find answers and solutions to the above and the Malaysian diaspora woe may ease,” he added.

Here’s the mStar report as posted by The Star Online:

"5,000 Malaysians are illegals in South Korea

Tuesday, 13 Mar 2018
by nadia shaiful bahari

A tough life: Malaysians seen working at a vegetable farm near Seoul.

SEOUL: An estimated 5,000 Malay sians are working and staying illegally in South Korea, with the less fortunate ones forced to live like refugees and always on the run from the authorities.

Lured by job advertisements that claimed they could make money hand over fist in the land of K-pop and Descendants of the Sun, they paid recruitment agents thousands of ringgit in fees and entered the country on tourist visas.

Unfortunately, many of them have been left in dire straits after finding out that reality did not match up with the promises.

Star Media Group’s Bahasa Malaysia news portal mStar Online sent a team to South Korea to look into their plight and found many of these Malaysians stranded and destitute.

These 5,000, based on figures that volunteer aid workers pieced together from Malaysians and recruitment agents, are part of an estimated 251,000 illegal foreign workers in the country as reported by The Korea Herald.

Their problems, first highlighted by the portal in a series of special reports in association with The Korea Herald in January, ranged from suffering permanent disability after workplace accidents to being left broke and homeless when they were fired by their employers.

Among the locations the team visited were Itaewon in the central region and Daeso and Muguk in Eumseoung district, about 80km from Seoul.

A Malaysian who wanted to be known only as Farhan said he and two of his friends have been homeless for more than two months since they were fired without pay after working at a seaweed processing company for just one week.

“I was fired because I came down with fever a week after starting work. We have to rely on our friends for food,” he said, adding that sometimes they only had biscuits to eat.

The 24-year-old said that on weekends, they would sleep at the Seoul Central Mosque, while on weekdays, they would stay at a friend’s house.

Visiting the mosque, the mStar Online team found several bags in the corridors, believed to belong to the foreign workers who sleep there.

Some of them are forced to live on the streets.
Another Malaysian, who did not want to be named, said she had to live in one house with 18 others.

The woman, who works on an onion and sweet potato farm, said the house is so overcrowded that some of them have to sleep in front of the toilet or on the kitchen floor.

She and her housemates said there had been cases of Malaysians being physically abused if they did not work fast enough.

Their story was echoed by others the team interviewed, as well as those who came forward in the earlier reports in January, and because of their illegal status, they are often exploited, made to work long hours without rest and barred from talking to their colleagues.

The risk of accidents is also great because they are seldom given briefings or safety equipment and protective gear.

After such hardship, their labour sometimes even goes unrewarded because of employers who, taking advantage of their workers’ illegal status, hold back their pay in the belief that they would not dare report it to the authorities.

As a result, many suffer in silence for fear of being detained by the authorities, and are ignorant of their rights as workers.

Winter in South Korea will come to an end later this month. Without money, shelter or a way home, these stranded Malaysians can only wait it out, and hope for new job opportunities that will be available in the spring.



  1. This is basically the crux of the matter Y.B. Designate. Our people are leaving by the truck loads overseas looking for greener pastures.

    Sadly often abusing their visa specifications and stipulations. The big question is why is this happening ? Aren't there prospects available locally ? Or are our people very selective with their choices.

    This is something the legislators who are always up in arms , have to take time to ponder and answer.

  2. Every country has it's dark spots and the fact that Malaysians are taken in by recruiting agents is nothing new. Everyone is seeking a better life and working illegally in 3D jobs in developed countries is always a big draw. Unfortunately our consulate in South Korea, etc. are not doing their part to raise awareness and weeding out such agents. Who doesn't want to send back RM1,000 or more to their families monthly? It's time to raise the minimum wage to RM2,500 per month


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