iLAM, Feb 10: Over 1,000 Nepalis who had gone to Malaysia in search of greener pastures have been stranded there for months with no work. The 1,126 Nepali workers at a digital camera company at Charas Sal Alam in Kuala Lumpur have been without any work for five months.
The company has held the Nepali worker under its control, giving them food but no work, according to Dhan Bahadur Kunbar of Ilam Municipality-6, one of the worker.
“We neither have visas to return home nor anyone to contact for help. We are 1,126 in total and we´ve been living in the company´s captivity since December 8,” Kunbar told Republica over the phone.
Kunbar, 23, also informed that he had reached Kaula Lumpur last October through Anajali Overseas Manpower Company.
According to him, the stranded workers had come to Malaysia through Anajali, Rembo, Bilash and Dynamic Manpower Companies in Nepal. The manpower companies had agreed to place them with Vista Company in Malaysia for jobs.
“We did not receive jobs as per agreement, and after one month at this company we have been left in the lurch. The company brings food in a truck and throws it to us the way one throws scraps to a dog. We are surviving with whatever they give us to eat,” Kunwar said.
According to another affected worker, Budhha Achhame of Godak, Ilam, the company stopped providing them work, stating that it was in financial crisis.
He further informed that Narayan Pandey and Susan Poudel of Gadok, Ilam, Dal Bahadur Tamang of Tilkenti, Ilam Municipality-6, Kamal Gautam of Barbote, Raman Acharya of Kolbung, Birkha Bahadur Sunuwar of Ranitar in Panchthar, Kamal Shrestha of Nangigan, Buddiman Kandangwa of Tehrathum, and Bikash Khadka, Pukar Rai and Bishwas Rai of Jhapa, are among the stranded workers.
All of them have been kept in a company hostel, according to Achhame.
“Some time ago, we had contacted the Nepali embassy in Malaysia, but they are yet to respond. No option is left for us except wait for any means to return home,” Achhame further said.
He accused the Nepali diplomatic mission of not being cooperative. “If we call the embassy, they drop the phone without any comment upon hearing the name of this company,” he said.
Kunwar said the manpower companies back in Nepal are also not responding to their plight. The stranded youths have requested the government, the Nepali embassy and the news media to help secure their safe return.
Anajali Overseas Manpower Company Managing Director Bhanu Siwakoti did not respond to phone calls.