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Director and HR manager remanded over alleged workers’ exploitation

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A director, and human resource manager of a bird nest’s company in Malaysia were held in remand for seven days, for allegedly exploiting their factory staff, specifically female workers.

A source close to the investigation of the case told Bernama, that the suspects, both aged 29, were detained to facilitate investigations under the Anti-Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants (ATIPSOM) Act 2007, Immigration Act and Employment Act.

The affected female employees claimed the management coerced them into working extra hours, without pay. Initial investigations reveal that the director, with the title ‘Datuk’, had allegedly exploited 172 women employees comprising locals, Indonesian and Myanmar nationals to work for more than 16 hours a day without leave.

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Yesterday, the Home Ministry’s Anti-Trafficking in Persons and Anti-Smuggling of Migrants (MAPO) unit arrested the director at the bird’s nest factory here following a three-week surveillance.

Unit leader DSP Hadzwan Zulkefle said: “Some of the workers were not paid, some received their wages late and a few had their salaries deducted when they took sick leave or when the factory was closed, to be left with only RM200 to RM300.” He added that working overtime had let the workers to face mental torture, with some even fainting from fatigue, in a report by The Star.

The seven-day remand orders were issued by Magistrate Nor Asma Ahmad at the Magistrate’s Court in Klang, Malaysia, who also issued a 21-day temporary protection order for the 51 affected employees, aged between 19 and 27.

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