Press Statement by YB Kelvin Yii:
Fellow Sarawakians who seek or are offered employment overseas are strongly advised to take precautions and fully ascertain the legitimacy of such offers before embarking overseas in order to not to fall victim to job scams all around the world.
This year, i handled another case right at the beginning of the year where a Sarawakian was promised a lucrative job in Maldives but when he got there, the job didn’t turn out to be what he expected. On top of that his passport was taken away and because of that he could not travel out back to Malaysia.
It was also difficult for him to seek help as there is no Malaysian embassy in Maldives but the closest was in Colombo, Sri Lanka. In order for him to travel there, it will then require him to have proper documentations which was taken away from him from the agent.
My office eventually seek help from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs which contacted their consular in Colombo to render all the required assistance to the family. They managed to contact him and will provide him with the necessary documentations and assistance so he can travel back home safely.
Last year, our office dealt with several similar cases of Sarawakians and others falling victims to such job scams in countries such as Liberia, Indonesia, Oman, Papua and even South Korea.
That is why it is important for others to take due diligence and do the necessary checks before traveling overseas. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is very concern with the increasing numbers of job scams involving Malaysians and has advised for all to take necessary precautions.
First and foremost it is not wrong to go overseas in search for better paying jobs, but all these must be done through proper checking and due diligence before they go.
So these are few steps we can do it:
(1) Any job offers, can check with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs(Wisma Putra) to check the validity of such offers. Wisma Putra has officers is almost every country and they can check on the validity of the companies, or even availability of the jobs in that particular country and whether the salary offered is reasonable in those countries.
(2) Do obtain a work visa in Malaysia first before travelling overseas. To obtain a work visa first here before travelling overseas, the relevant Ministries will help do the necessary investigation into the said company or even offer. This will avoid you being stranded in that country when you fail to obtain any work visa when you are already there.
(3) Do apply for overseas work insurance or travel insurance. These companies will do the necessary investigations and due diligence before granting the insurance and this can serve as a safeguard to check the validity of the company. And in worst case scenarios, such insurance can give compensation if any unwanted incidents happened while at work in those countries. There are many work related accidents overseas that had rendered our fellow Malaysians invalid(OKU) or even death, but they didn’t have enough to cover the medical cost or even to fly the body back.
Recently there was a case where a Malaysian drowned during a trip to Phuket and it cost their family more than RM 30k to bring him back. I recently also handled a case where a family member suffered a suspected heart attack in a foreign country and it cost the family so much to transport him back.
(4) Always alert the Foreign Ministry if you are to travel and work in a certain country. They will then be aware and can follow up on your welfare and help in case anything happens in that country.
These cases are not isolated cases, but there are alot of other countries our fellow Malaysians, including Sarawakians travel to to find jobs with a promise of a lucrative pay.
The main issue here is not just the lack of jobs in the State, but rather quality jobs that is available with reasonable and equitable salary here in Sarawak. To address that may be long term and take concentrated efforts from both government to address this matter.
But in mean time, its important to take this steps even though it may take more effort and time, but it is always better to be safe than sorry and with the increase of such job syndicate scams all around the world, it is always better to be on the cautionary side.
Kelvin Yii Lee Wuen
MP Bandar Kuching