Category Archives: Other Migration Issues in Mekong
The Myanmar workers in Malaysia are facing increased arrests after having their passports checked in the wake of tightened security due to a string of murder cases.
Hsan Win, chairperson of the Kapong Funeral Service Society, said the arrests coincided with the demand of Myanmar Embassy requesting the Malaysian Labour Ministry to take action against the killings of Myanmar citizens.
Myanmar workers are now facing two dilemmas as they live in fear for getting killed and for getting arrested, he said.
“The situation is calm. But this is not a good sign. We dare not go downtown because we fear for the safety of our lives. If we try to go out, Malaysian police would check our passports and arrest us. They are also making a lot of arrests along the Thai-Malaysian border,” he said.
A large number of Myanmar workers had their passports kept by their employers, hence they found it difficult to go out and avoid arrest because they could not pass passport checks.
On July 8, Myanmar national AungKhin, aka Ko Tony, was found stabbed to death outside his house in Penang. Another man MyoPaing, chairperson of Kuala Lumpur Funeral Service for deceased Myanmar citizens, was killed on the following day.
“The embassy gives no help. We sent a letter to alert about the problem but this did not work out. The killings of Myanmar citizens in Malaysia have not be solved yet,” Hsan Win said.
By: Eleven Myanmar
The curfew in Thailand following last week’s coup has affected business owners and Myanmar migrant workers, according to a border-based rights group.
After the enforcement of curfew, Myanmar migrants in major cities such as Bangkok and Chiang Mai get paid the minimum daily wage of Bt300 without overtime.
“A worker earns 300 baht per day in Bangkok, a big city where living costs are high. Workers normally have to work between 10 to 12 hours to earn overtime pay. Now, they cannot work overtime so their incomes have been affected,” said Moe Gyo, chairman of Joint Committee for Movement of Myanmar Citizens’ Affairs.
Although the minimum wage has been set at Bt300, Myanmar migrant workers residing in Tak Province only receive around 180 baht per day and they need to work overtime to cover their daily expenses. However, they are facing difficulties now as they cannot work overtime.
Due to political turmoil for the past six months in Thailand, the Thai military imposed martial law on May 21 and staged a coup on May 22.
Nearly 4 million Myanmar migrants are currently working in Thailand.
By Eleven Myanmar
Published on 31 May 2014
International Workers’ Day celebrations were held all over Rangoon and among migrant communities in Thailand on Thursday.
In Rangoon’s Hlaing Tharyar, trade union leaders and members, including the director of International Trade Unions Federation (Burma), the International Labour Organisation’s (ILO) liaison office and representatives from Myanmar Trade Unions Federation, gathered in a show of unity.
“Today we have representatives from the agriculture sector as well as the industrial and transportation sectors together to unite, regardless of differences in their work sectors,” said Michael from the Agriculture and Farmers Federation of Myanmar.
This is the third year that May Day celebrations could be held publicly in Burma since military rule ended in 2011.
“We have government officials also joining the event, including the deputy labour minister, which is really encouraging for us,” Michael said.
In the Thai border town of Mae Sot, hundreds of Thai and Burmese workers marched through the streets carrying banners and waving flags.
And in Chiang Mai, 200 Thai and Burmese workers marched to demand better labour rights.
Protest leaders read out a ten-point statement, which included equal labour rights for Thai and Burmese workers, and the formation of a committee with both Thai and Burmese speakers, to ensure the minimum wage is paid.
Migrant worker, Hein Htet, said more labour officers are needed at the Burmese Embassy to help resolve migrant issues.
“There is one labour attaché at the Burmese Embassy tasked to resolve issues with the migrant community across Thailand. This is nowhere near sufficient,” Hein Htet said.
“We would like the two governments to have a discussion to appoint more labour officers in provinces with large migrant populations.”
Chiang Mai’s provincial governor, Wichian Puttiwinyu, promised to hand their demands to Thailand’s Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.
By Democratic Voice of Burma
Published on 2 May 2014