Friday, 25 March 2011 15:02 David Boyle and Mom Kunthear
The T&P Co Ltd labour firm has stopped applying for visas to send migrant workers to Malaysia, a consular official has confirmed, as the company finds itself embroiled in a growing controversy over its allegedly unlawful recruitment practices.
Raja Saiful Ridzuwan, deputy chief of mission at the Malaysian Embassy in Cambodia, said yesterday that T&P Co Ltd stopped sending visa applications last week and suggested the company might have paused its operations to reform practices inside their recruitment centres.
He said both the Malaysian Embassy and the Cambodian Government were taking recent allegations of widespread abuse and illegal detention in the labour recruitment industry very seriously and were ready to take action against any company found acting unlawfully in Malaysia.
“So far we have not received any official request from the Government of Cambodia [to act] on this T&P case, but we would consider that if the situation became more serious that we would look into acting on the T&P company in Malaysia,” he said.
T&P representatives could not be reached yesterday and officials from the Ministry of Labour and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs either could not be reached or declined to comment.
Meanwhile another complaint was filed against T&P with the rights group Licadho on Wednesday by the family of a worker who has accused the company of withholding US$930 in wages from Malaysia that she gave them to send to her parents.
“The T&P company staff told me to wait [until] next time when they would give me [the money] when I went to meet them, but their promises melted. They said next time forever,” said Choak Botha, the father of 20-year-old T&P employee Horn Leakhena.
A string of complaints against T&P has emerged since a trainee broke her legs trying to escape from the Phnom Penh office on March, 2 , followed four days later by the death of an employee inside the same training centre.