Recently, a construction worker died by suicide after alleging that his employer had failed to pay him salary for the past five months
According to China Press, the deceased filmed a video that he uploaded on TikTok prior to his death, urging his friends to seek his employer to demand his salary.
"I want to do a video, my boss has not paid my salary for five months. I cannot take it anymore. The cause of my death... it is my boss. My friend, please find my boss," he said in Bahasa Melayu in the 24-second long TikTok.
He added that he had posted another video stating the name of his employer because "I want to let people know".
His body was found at a construction site on Jalan Ampang on 17 April.
It is reported that the videos have since circulated on other social media platforms.
The deceased was identified as 30-year-old Shahzad Ahmed
Wangsa Maju police chief Ashari Abu Samah told Malaysiakini that the employer failed to pay the deceased's salary from December 2020 to April 2021 due to financial problems.
"Based on the investigations, the company had financial problems as it was affected by the Movement Control Order (MCO). It had offered to pay him an advanced payment, but the deceased refused as he wanted his salary to be fully paid," Ashari revealed.
"The deceased's co-worker alleged that the deceased had a family dispute in Pakistan and felt pressured into sending money back home."
He added that Shahzad had been working in Malaysia since 2019 and had no relatives here.
The news portal also reached out to the deceased's employer. The chief operating officer (CEO) of the company said they will bear the cost to ship his remains to Pakistan and provide a goodwill payment to his family.
The CEO refused to comment about whether his failure to pay Shahzad had caused his employee's death, citing that the case is currently being investigated by the police.
Meanwhile, the Labour Department has opened an investigation into the matter
An officer in the department told Malaysiakini that the case will be investigated under Sections 19, 22, 24, 25, and 60K of the Employment Act 1955.
The provisions are related to the time of payment of wages, limitation on advances to employees, lawful deductions, wages to be paid in legal tender, and duty to furnish information and returns respectively.
The officer said the investigation will complete in about a week.
In response to the incident, Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) called for the government to step up on enforcing labour laws, especially when it concerns migrant labourers.
PSM migrant desk coordinator Mohanarani Rasiah said it is common for companies to fail to pay foreign workers, even when the paymasters are the government itself.
She said employers would only be slapped with small punishments when caught, and would likely repeat the offence in the future.
Asking for help is not a sign of weakness.
If you or anyone you know is lonely, distressed, or having negative thoughts, please call these Malaysian hotlines:
1. BEFRIENDERS KL
Email: [email protected]
Website | Facebook | Twitter
2. TALIAN KASIH
Email: [email protected]
Website | Facebook
For a more thorough directory of resources, head over to the Malaysian Mental Health Association's website.