The Social Sciences

Year: 2011
Volume: 6
Issue: 5
Page No. 332 - 343

Migrant Workers’ Lives and Experiences Amidst Malaysian Transformations

Authors : Yusuf Abdulazeez, Ismail Bab and Sundramoorthy Pathmanathan

Abstract: This study demonstrates that movement of people across periods, places and among people has not only existed for centuries but it has also been gaining a significant global attention through the prevailing debates on migration-development thesis in recent years. Most human mobility emanates from various, real and imagined, positive and negative changes and concerns that hit sending communities including the development in the destinations as evidenced in Malaysia, a newly industrialized nation, member of New Tigers, indeed migrants’ recipient country of South-East Asia. Malaysia has been experiencing gradual reduction in mortality rate, increase in fertility and influx of migrants for decades but the latter is tied to her positive changes and sending areas’ negative changes. It is less arguable that increasing entry of foreign workers into Malaysia exacerbated her economic progress as the origins profit from migrant remittances. The skills acquired by migrants and their exposure to a wide range of socio-cultural practices in Malaysia are beneficial to their sources, especially if they returned home. The payments for goods and services; transit visas, lodging, foods, drinks and transport fares by migrants at transit areas have had influence on the transit economies. Yet, migrants’ involvement in breach of rules and regulations are headaches to Malaysia’s social order and their readiness to offer cheap labor limit the chances of locals to bargain for and secure high wages and salaries. At times, undocumented migrants’ rising volume poses security threat, stresses social amenities earmarked for locals and constitutes extra social and economic costs to government. The degrading treatments unleashed on migrant workers by officials, recruiting agents and employers often stain identity of host among comity of nations. Restructuring Malaysia’s regulations on labor migrants, empowering local job-seekers, checking excesses of private industries and reducing migrant workers are needed for addressing these challenges and sustainable economy.

How to cite this article:

Yusuf Abdulazeez, Ismail Bab and Sundramoorthy Pathmanathan, 2011. Migrant Workers’ Lives and Experiences Amidst Malaysian Transformations. The Social Sciences, 6: 332-343.

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