Published in The New Indian Express, Chennai on July 29, 2011:
CHENNAI: Countering the raging allegations that it never took up the Indian migrant labourers’ ordeal with the Malaysian Government properly, the Indian High Commission in Malaysia has said that it was equally concerned about the welfare of all Indian nationals in the country like any other organisation, and were providing all the needed assistance to Indian citizens, including Indian workers, in distress there.Reacting to the allegation by NGOs working for rights of migrant workers, an official of the High Commission, in an e-mail statement, said they have a Consular Wing and a separate Labour Wing, which assists Indian nationals, including workers, through various means, including handling of labour disputes and providing consular services to those Indians who were in prisons and detention camps.The High Commission official said, “From January to June 2011, the High Commission’s representatives have made 25 visits to 11 detention camps in Malaysia and assisted Indian nationals to establish their identity and provided consular services to them thereafter.”
Details of missing TN men collected
CHENNAI: The Migrant Employees Education for Transformation, Prevention and Protection Union (MEETPPU), an NGO, in association with a Kuala Lumpur-based social worker T Kamalanathan, worked for the welfare of migrant workers from TN and collected details of labourers who went to Malaysia from the State and went missing there. Kamalanathan tried to trace them and made arrangements to send them back to India after completing legal formalities in Malaysia.When contacted by Express, the Indian High Commission in Kuala Lumpur said it was unaware that any Indian had died due to malnutrition in any camp in Malaysia, and no Indian in camps visited by the High Commission officials had drawn their attention.
“Our visits require the approval of the Malaysian authorities and during such visits we have access only to the interview rooms in such detention camps,” an official from the Commission said.MEETTPU representatives, however, told Express that about 7,000 Indians were languishing at 11 such detention camps.