Malaysian police arrest two Burmese workers seeking better living conditions

Bangkok (Mizzima) – Two Burmese migrant workers who threatened to return home were arrested by Malaysian police on Thursday, after they complained of crowded living conditions at an appliance factory.

The workers were among a group of Burmese employed at the Robeh Electric Appliances Plant in Senai Jaya.

‘Authorities asked us if we would go back to Burma or not, and we said yes. At around 6:30 p.m., they asked the name of the two workers who could speak Malaysian. Then the police handcuffed the two workers and took them away without explanation’, said Myo Myint Hlaing, a Burmese worker at the factory told Mizzima.

The workers said they asked for more living space but the factory did not try to meet the workers’ request.

‘They said they would provide it later. But, they did not. So, we felt upset and did not want to work. Our health is damaged. The whole room stinks’, said another worker.

The Burmese workers departed Burma on December 15, 2010, to work in the factory in Malaysia. They got the jobs with the help of the Diamond Pagan job agency in Rangoon. There are more than 260 workers in the factory and 47 are Burmese.

Labour rights activist Tun Tun of the Burma Campaign (Malaysia) told Mizzima it has asked for help from regional human rights groups to get the two workers released.

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