Photo by iStock.
Photo by iStock.

Employers who refuse to pay wages to their undocumented migrant workers should be punished, said a Malaysian MP who objected to the illegals being the only people published.

The statement made to the media by Charles Santiago, MP for Klang, came in response to a judgement by a Malaysian labor court not to pay a claim by an illegal Indonesian migrant worker called Mona for unpaid wages reported at 30,000 ringgit (US$7,311). Santiago slammed the court’s decision as a ‘travesty of justice’ that essentially allowed ‘modern day slavery’, The Sun Daily reported.

The immigration status of migrant workers should not deprive them of their hard-earned salary, Santiago stressed.

He condemned a black labor market that allows immoral middlemen to thrive by abusing undocumented workers in Malaysia. Santiago asserted that there must be a distinct separation of powers between authorities enforcing immigration and labor laws, and said that, since Mona was employed, she should be paid for the work she did.

“There have been stories of corruption among immigration staff when they catch undocumented migrants during raids. The systematic abuse has to stop,” said Santiago.

He claimed that Malaysia “would fail as a nation” if the Indonesian victim is deported empty-handed.

The Malaysian government has come under fire from human rights groups for their recent treatment of illegal immigrants, which they claim has worsened due to the Immigration Department’s pledge to “clean up” immigrants by giving them the ultimatum of surrendering by August 30.