behalf of the immigration to allow the maid to stay behind in order to
wait for her claims. In fact the actions of the immigration is
probably due to observations by human rights groups and UN bodies
rather than out of considerations for humanity or justice. Similarly
for the Malaysian courts of law.
There is not even a single shred of justice for workers in Malaysia.
This is the reason why Malaysia is now among the poorest in the world,
with the worst gap in income, especially Sabah.
Ex-waitress: Don't look down on foreign workers
Published on: Tuesday, November 23, 2010
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Kota Kinabalu: A former Filipina waitress whose earlier Labour Court
decision against a seafood operator was upheld by the High Court,
Monday, urged employers in Sabah not to underestimate or look down on
poor foreign workers.
"We come from poor families to earn an honest living here.
We are not even illegal workers or were trafficked here but came in
"I know of many other legalised Filipino nationals who are victimised
by other employers in Sabah. They are afraid to air their grievances
in the media or lodge reports with the Labour Department for fear of
losing their jobs because they have many mouths to feed back home,"
said Rocelyn Tubal Raneses, a single mother.
She said either their actual working conditions sometimes differ from
what's stated in the contract or are not in accordance to the
Malaysian Labour Laws.
It is believed to be the first time that a legalised foreign worker's
case against an employer had gone to the High Court level in Sabah.
"I had to endure several months on friends and sympathysers for
financial support while waiting for my case to be finally over," she
"Maybe because I was a poor kampung girl from the Philippines, I was
supposed to have just gone home long ago without expecting any of the
money that rightfully belonged to me.
"I thank the Malaysian Immigration for being kind enough to grant me
three extensions to stay on for the court hearing. It was not easy
because they (Immigration staff) also got tired of seeing me going
back to them repeatedly.
"Otherwise, you can imagine that I would have been forced to return to
my kids and family penniless because even the Labour Court's decision
in my favour was challenged by my ex-employer," she said.
"I was shocked to learn that a Labour Court decision in Malaysia is
not enforceable at all and can be challenged considering that the sum
in my case is only RM4,000. I'm sure even the legal fees of the other
side could cost 10 times this amount or more, although I know that is
not my concern," she said.
"I am very happy over the outcome and thank my lawyer Pereira for
taking up my case for free. You don't always meet a person like him.
"God will repay his kindness to less fortunate fellow beings.
I also want to thank the church groups for their support, help and
prayers," she said, adding she knew of others in similar situation who
have since returned home.
Rocelyn's happiness, however, is mixed with a tinge of sadness because
her final immigration extension expired on Nov. 16.
"I fear there will be a compound for overstaying.
But it is not my fault. The case has been dragging on for so long.
And now I finally can't go home although I want to because my passport
is with the Immigration Department.
"Last Friday, I called up the department to find out the status of my
passport, and they told me that the Director was not around.
"Today (Monday), I rang up again and they told me to wait until they
called me," she lamented, adding it is too late to catch the ferry.
She needs to go back urgently as got word that her six-year-old son
was warded in hospital in Mindanao with serious food poisoning.