As they left overtime work at the factory of Elecol Switchgear in Serdang, Myanmar workers were brutally attacked with swords by four masked assailants on Thursday. As a result of the attack, four Myanmar workers were killed and another two seriously injured.
The injured were receiving treatment at a local hospital as officials of the Myanmar embassy, the labour attaché, the Military attaché and the Panalinka Philanthropic Organisation went to the factory and visited the hospital to seek information and possible compensation, according to Director-General U Sein Oo of the Consular and Legal Affairs Department.
The attackers arrived at the scene with two cars and motorbikes and attacked the Myanmar workers with swords, Permanent Secretary U Myo Aung of the Immigration and Population Ministry confirmed.
“As soon as the attack occurred, the first secretary of the Myanmar Embassy, officials of the labour attaché and one official of the military attaché in Malaysia went to the factory and discussed what they could do about the attack, before going to the police station and the hospital. Seven people were in police custody for questioning. The police are still investigating the case,” he said.
He added that seven Myanmar workers were not arrested but were kept in police custody for questioning. It is also too early to say that the attack is related to Rakhine State, he said.
Thirty Myanmar employees, fifteen of whom were official and the rest undocumented, were working at the factory at the time of the attack. Official as well as illegal workers were assaulted during the attacks.
Overseas employment agencies that sent the official workers were instructed to help the attacked workers and arrangements have also been made with Malaysia Employers Federation. Officials of the embassy and the labour attaché are working for the illegal workers to enjoy the same rights as the official workers, according to U Myo Aung.
“Officials of Myanmar embassy, the Ministry of Immigration and Population and labour attaché have been launching an investigation into the attack on Myanmar workers in cooperation with Malaysian authorities,” the spokesman for the Myanmar President’s Office Acting Director-General U Zaw Htay said.
He added that the Ministry of Immigration and Population has stopped sending workers to Malaysia as there was a wide perception that if something happens in Myanmar, a response followed in Malaysia.
In conclusion, he said that instructions have been issued for Myanmar workers in Malaysia for their safety and urged illegal Myanmar workers in Malaysia to contact the embassy there.