KUCHING: A man from Kuching is the latest Sarawakian to fall victim to an overseas job scam, according to Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii.
In a statement issued today, Dr Yii said he is now handling this case involving this man, in his 40s, after he was made known of the victim’s plight right at the beginning of this year.
He explained the victim was promised a lucrative job in Maldives but when he got there, the job did not turn out to be what he expected.
On top of that, the victim’s passport was allegedly taken away and because of that, he could not come back to Malaysia.
“It was also difficult for him to seek help as there is no Malaysian embassy in Maldives but the closest was in Colombo, Sri Lanka. In order for him to travel there, it will then require him to have proper documentations which was taken away from him from the agent.
“My office eventually seek help from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs which contacted their consular in Colombo to render all the required assistance to the family. They managed to contact him and will provide him with the necessary documentations and assistance so he can travel back home safely,” said Dr Yii.
In view of this latest case, the DAP lawmaker is advising fellow Sarawakians who seek or are offered employment overseas to take precautions and fully ascertain the legitimacy of such offers before embarking overseas in order to not to fall victim to job scams all around the world.
He revealed that last year alone, his office dealt with several similar cases of Sarawakians and others falling victims to such job scams in countries such as Liberia, Indonesia, Oman, Papua and even South Korea.
Stressing that these are not isolated cases, he pointed out there are a lot of other countries where Malaysians, including Sarawakians, travel to to find jobs with a promise of a lucrative pay.
“The main issue here is not just the lack of jobs in the State, but rather quality jobs that is available with reasonable and equitable salary here in Sarawak. To address that may be long term and take concentrated efforts from both (federal and state) governments to address this matter,” he said.
He also called on job seekers to take due diligence and do the necessary checks before embarking overseas.
Dr Yii said among precautionary steps can be taken include checking with with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Wisma Putra) on the validity of any job offers.
He explained Wisma Putra has officers in almost every country and they can check on the validity of the companies, or even availability of the jobs in that particular country and whether the salary offered is reasonable in those countries.
“Do obtain a work visa in Malaysia first before travelling overseas. To obtain a work visa first here before travelling overseas, the relevant Ministries will help do the necessary investigation into the said company or even offer.
“This will avoid you being stranded in that country when you fail to obtain any work visa when you are already there,” he said.
He also advised those embarking to work overseas to also apply for overseas work insurance or travel insurance.
In worst case scenarios, he said such insurance can give compensation if any unwanted incidents happened while at work in those countries.
“There are many work related accidents overseas that had rendered our fellow Malaysians invalid (disabled) or even death, but they didn’t have enough to cover the medical cost or even to fly the body back.
“Recently there was a case where a Malaysian drowned during a trip to Phuket and it cost their family more than RM 30,000 to bring him back. I recently also handled a case where a family member suffered a suspected heart attack in a foreign country and it cost the family so much to transport him back,” he said.
He also advised those embarking overseas to always alert the Foreign Ministry if they are to travel and work in a certain country, so that the ministry is aware and can follow up on their welfare and help in case anything happens in that country.