22 August 2008

Salendra: Falsified Information on Wage by Recruitment Agency

My name is Salendra, 37 years old, high school graduate. Now I work as a construction worker, having no documents, at the Precinct 15, in surrounding of Putrajaya, the planned city just southern of Kuala Lumpur. I come from South Lampung in southern tip of Sumatra Island.

I work here how after I run away from my employer some weeks earlier who owns a banana plantation at Yong Peng area, Johor, southern Malaysia’s peninsula. All my documents now are on my employer’s hand. He is a Chinese descent. I was waged very little that did not match with my work load.

I just started working here in 2007. My small business was bankrupt. I then decided to work as a migrant worker to Malaysia. Yet, upon arriving here, the wage I receive does not fit to what the broker had contracted with me. He comes from my home district, South Lampung. The same promise was also said by the agency’s official named PT Mangun Jaya Perkasa in East Jakarta. I was given falsified information. In fact, I had paid the recruitment and employment fee up to seven million rupiah (~US$758).

I was paid at the plantation only 21 Malaysian ringgit (~US$6.27) per day. I worked until about nine hours and a half daily. Wage is deducted up to three months. No single insurance I got including health matter. In fact I bought all tools necessary for the plantation work. Up to now after over one year I could only once send money about 1,400 ringgit (~US$418) back home for my family. I have three children in the village. I feel very culpable to my wife.

My agent in Malaysia is Bonhon Sdn. Bhd, the venue of which is at the road to Yong Peng. I managed to open electrocuted barb wire along with two other workers. There are more workers from Indonesia having similar problem still in the plantation.

Now as a construction worker, I am helped by a friend who has been working as a sub-contractor. He paid me slightly better of 35 ringgit (US$10.46) per day. I mix cement and other building materials at a would-be apartment at Precint 15, Putrajaya. I stay in an on-site barrack among with hundreds of undocumented guest workers either from Indonesia, Bangladesh or Myanmar. I do hope I could collect enough money that I may go back home as soon as possible.

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