This is a story about Fitrah, a young female Indonesian golf caddy who came to Malaysia to change her life. Fitrah left Indonesia in search for a better life for her and her family but only to be locked up and subjected to mental torture.
Fitrah was employed by a company that provided caddy services for private golf clubs. She was promised a monthly pay of RM450. But allegedly, the company failed to pay her salary for 18 months -- essentially from the time she entered the country and started working.She was also under 24-hour surveillance, 7 days a week and wasnt allowed to go out even during weekends. Her co-workers were subjected to the same treatment.
Fitrah decided to escape from the golf club as she couldnt take it anymore. She was only asking for one thing, to be sent back to Indonesia. But she couldnt go anywhere since her passport was held by her employer. With the help of concerned Malaysians, Fitrah is now fighting for her and the rights of her colleagues who are still trapped inside the golf club.
Fitrahs story is a classic example of exploitation of foreign labour and of human-trafficking. Extreme poverty in their home country make them easy prey for traffickers who shower them with promises of good money that will help lift their families from poverty.
According to US Department of States "Trafficking in Persons Report, Malaysia is now blacklisted for not fully complying with minimum standards to eliminate trafficking and also not making significant efforts to prevent trafficking.
A 2005 MOU between the Governments of Indonesia and Malaysia allowing Malaysian employers to hold the passports of its migrant workers, adds to the problem of exploitation; because without their passports and the necessary permits, foreign workers become illegal workers and could be held in detention. This is what foreign workers fear.
Despite numerous reports and complaints, there have been no prosecutions of these employers for unlawful detention, exploitation or trafficking.
malaysiakinitv. (January 23, 2014). Golf Clubs: The Hidden Truth (Part 1). Retrieved April 03, 2020, from EngageMedia Web site: http://www.engagemedia.org/Members/malaysiakinitv/videos/golf-clubs-the-hidden-truth-part-1.