The Covid-19 pandemic helped shine a light on the plight of migrant workers living in dormitories. In Johor, a recent case exposed the startling conditions that some workers continue to live in.
A factory employing the workers crammed 65 of them into a single dormitory room originally meant for six occupants.
Additionally, the five-room dormitory, with 325 people living there, possessed no lockers and one room even lacked bathroom walls.
The Department of Labour Peninsular Malaysia (JTKSM) could levy fines as high as S$14,573 per dorm room to the factory.
JTKSM’s deputy director-general Mohd Asri traveled to a plastics factory in Skudai, Johor, on 25 Sep.
He had received a report on the appalling living conditions of the migrant workers there, reported China Press.
In the comprehensive inspection, he found that the factory squeezed 65 workers into a single dorm room meant for just six occupants.
The five-room dormitory, meant to hold 30 people, instead housed a shocking 325 workers.
The employers did not provide any lockers for storing personal belongings such as passports. In fact, the dorm lacked basic amenities like beds, according to Bernama.
Workers covered the room in mattresses where they slept.
The sleeping area bled directly into the kitchen area where ingredients like onions and chili were kept.
The 65 workers shared one toilet in each room. One dorm room’s toilet even reportedly lacked any walls despite being next to a kitchen area.
Other photos show the abysmal state of the Johor factory’s dormitory, the living place of 325 workers, falling into disrepair.
Mr Mohd Asri told reporters that the raid found the factory in violation of several basic workers’ rights since 2021.
The employers face up to RM50,000 (S$14,573) in fines per dorm room, or a potential total fine of RM250,000 (around S$72,871).
In Singapore, the transportation of migrant workers on lorries recently came under scrutiny, with a video showing the workers shielding themselves with umbrellas from the rain.
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