Malaysia's tech manufacturing sector based on forced labor


So, slaves, in a word.


This “study” is shameful. In the face of a situation that, yes, really is slavery, all we can do is suggest an updated code of conduct? We should maybe tell someone to tell someone to be nice. Our elected representatives have spent years systematically pulling every one of government’s teeth so that all we can do is flap our hands anxiously and ask others to please play nice. We Americans used to call ourselves the leaders of the free world.


I was arrested in 2006 by police in KL for making a quick run to a 7-eleven without my passport. Because I am half-Asian, I was suspected of being an illegal Indonesian worker, and was rounded up with about 50 other people, put in the back of a big truck, and taken to a police station where we all sat on the parking-lot pavement for a few hours while they checked all our IDs. Since I had no ID on me, I was one of the last to be checked, and I was able to see that every single person who had been collected had the correct documents and was let go. Everyone was pretty resigned to being arrested, and told me it happens all the time.

A few days later I was in the Cameron highlands, and for some reason the tea plantation I visited had the wages they pay (to their Indonesian laborers) publicly posted: they paid tea pickers 7.5 MYR (about $2.50) per day, up from 5.5 MYR. Malaysia isn’t that cheap a country, and even assuming the company housing on the tea estates was free, it would be difficult for the migrant workers to pay off the cost of coming to Malaysia.


This topic was automatically closed after 5 days. New replies are no longer allowed.