Monday, 10 January 2011 15:01 Buth Reaksmey Kongkea
CAMBODIAN officials will today pay a visit to 74 Cambodian migrant workers who were arrested and detained in Malaysia for working there illegally, Foreign Ministry officials said yesterday.
“Our embassy officials will be visiting them [today] in order to see about their living conditions and health,” said ministry spokesman Koy Kuong.
The Cambodian nationals were arrested on January 1 by immigration police in Malaysia’s Johor province without proper travel or work documents. The group – including 43 men, 16 women, nine boys and six girls – is being detained until Malaysian authorities conclude their investigations and decide whether or not to prosecute the workers.
“Right now, Malaysian authorities have not yet made their decision on these Cambodians’ fate,” Koy Kuong said.
Meas Saneth, program director for the NGO Coordination of Action Research on AIDS and Mobility, said his organisation would provide legal support to the workers if they are convicted in Malaysia.
“I am afraid that [the workers] will continue to be detained in Malaysia if they really were working and staying illegally in Malaysia,” he said.
According to figures provided by the Malaysian embassy in October, a total of 20,909 Cambodians – among them 18,038 domestic workers – were given visas between January and August 2010.