Malaysia tells foreign workers to respect laws or face consequences

KULAIJAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Foreign workers have been warned to respect Malaysian laws or face stern action, said Johor police chief Senior Deputy Comm Datuk Mohd Mohktar Mohd Shariff.

He said rioting and public disorder by foreign workers would not be tolerated and the police would not hesitate to make arrests.

"You came to this country to work. You have to respect the laws and the police will not tolerate any nonsense," he said after a meeting with the management of JCY HDD Technology Sdn Bhd on Thursday.

He said the management of the electronics manufacturing company had held discussions with its foreign workers, witnessed by officials from several foreign embassies, to resolve the problems that culminated in a riot at the Kelapa Sawit industrial area here on Tuesday.

"Forty-nine arrests have been made. Two of them are from Bangladesh and the rest are from Nepal. The police will continue to identify and arrest those involved in the incident at the factory," he added.

JCY executive director Datuk Tan Shih Leng said the company had complied with Malaysian labour laws and all the requirements that were agreed to with the foreign workers.

The company's general manager, who wanted to be known only as Liaw, said the plant was closed on Thursday following the riot.

In Tuesday's incident, more than 800 foreign workers gathered outside the building and hurled stones and other objects at the management office.

They set an office building and a car on fire, while three other buildings were damaged.

The riot came in the wake of an incident at another JCY branch at the Tebrau IV industrial area near Johor Baru last Thursday.

There, some 1,500 workers, apparently unhappy over the company's handling of a worker's welfare, threw various objects from their four-storey quarters and overturned a parked van.

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