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Malaysia can`t be so cruel to migrant workers to send them back when we are grappling with coronavirus

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17th-May-2020       
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The Malaysian authorities have arrested over 400 undocumented Bangladeshi migrant workers in separate crackdowns launched since the beginning of this month as reported by Malaysia-based rights activists. They are among other foreign nationals, arrested from various locations the report said and added that police would launch further crackdown on undocumented migrant workers in two other places in Kuala Lumpur very soon to arrest more.
Authorities have reportedly claimed that the crackdown was a precautionary measure to contain the spread of Covid-19. The Malaysian Immigration Department claimed on Tuesday said health authorities have screened 7,551 migrants at Kuala Lumpur Wholesale Market as part of the health precaution measure as the country is reeling under the impact of Covid-19 in the past two months.
We are aware of the danger of the coronavirus and the need for isolation, screening and such other containment measures which are part of the national precaution strategy. Bangladesh is also carrying out similar screening and isolation to rein in the outbreak.  But there is a growing fear in many quarters of the Bangladeshi community in Kuala Lumpur that the arrest of the undocumented workers many lead to further harassment and even may work as a prelude for deportation at its worst.
However, we believe in the goodness of the Malaysian government and hope that it will not use the occasion now marred by all uncertainties in the life of the migrants amid the global pandemic to create legal problem for the arrestees. It appears that most of the workers in the country have not received salary from January although the government has asked employers to pay. They are living on half meal supplied by Bangladesh High Commission and many other charitable organizations. We hope that the government of Malaysia will look at the issues entirely from humanitarian ground and refrain from making further arrest which will be wrong also from legal and human rights perspective.
Over eight lakh migrant workers from Bangladesh now live in Malaysia contributing to that country's economic development. Bangladesh is a proud partner of Malaysia's development and hope our nationals will be treated accordingly.


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