Dozens of Vietnamese guest workers are stranded in Malaysia after their
employer failed to extend their visas, according to the Vietnamese
Embassy's Labour Management Board.
The 42 stranded workers
are among a group of 69 who went to Malaysia to work under a
contract between Viet Ha – Ha Tinh Joint Stock Company (VIHATICO) in
central Ha Tinh Province and its Malaysian counterpart, Houseproud Asia,
Under the contract, Asmana company has employed
the workers to clean hospitals, buildings and public areas in Penang
State , around 300km from Malaysia 's capital of Kuala Lumpur , for
salaries ranging from 400-500 USD per month.
Three of the
workers were arrested by the local immigration agency for having expired
visas in early February. The Labour Management Board of the Vietnamese
Embassy in Malaysia asked Asmana to promptly complete procedures to
extend visas for the workers and act as guarantee for their release.
Asmana failed to complete the visa extension procedures due to
financial issues and only provided the workers with a special pass,
deputy director of the Ministry of Labour, War Invalids and Social
Affairs's Overseas Labour Department Dao Cong Hai told the press on
Their visas expired in August, 2011.
In late February, Asmana's partner ended the contract to employ the
workers and Asmana committed to continue to provide minimum salaries and
accommodation for the workers.
Also in a press release
sent out on March 19, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said the
Embassy has been working on the case since receiving information that
the workers has not been paid or has their work permits renewed.
Embassy representatives met Asmana several times between February 26
and March 7 to ask the company to comply with the terms of the signed
MOFA made it clear that the Embassy will continue to do its best to protect the Vietnamese citizens.
A representative from VIHATICO told Vietnam News on March 19 that the
company sent a delegation to Malaysia to work on the case.
All of the impacted Vietnamese workers and a number of Nepalese workers
in the same plight were sent to a protection centre operated by
Penang State 's immigration agency on Saturday while waiting for the
case to be handled.
The Embassy's Labour and Expert
Management Board also had a working session with the Malaysian
Department of Labour and Immigration about the case on March 19.-VNA