The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Malaysia court sets verdict date

Kuala Lumpur, June 6 (PTI): A Malaysian court will on June 20 deliver judgment on a case in which 52 Indian workers have sued their employer for breach of contract.

Penang High Court yesterday heard final submissions in the case filed last year by the Indians against their Malaysian employer, Chin Well Fasteners Co. Sdn, based in Penang.

Justice R.K. Nathan said authorities in India should be informed that agents in that country for companies recruiting foreign workers here were misleading its people.

The 52 workers had come all the way from India to work and had to seek justice in Malaysian courts, he said.

The workers who are suing their employer claimed they had paid up to Rs 1 lakh each to get a lucrative job in Malaysia. “We were told that we will get a minimum basic salary of Rs 10,000 a month,” said Sampath Kumar Vellingiri, who came from Coimbatore.

“I was working as a computer networker and was drawing Rs 7,000 basic a month. Why would I come here for a salary of around Rs 4,500 a month'” he asked.

Vellingiri was allegedly lured with the promise that he would be a supervisor in the firm’s administrative department but his job actually entailed sorting nuts and bolts for the fasteners.

The interest component itself has become Rs 50,000 in the past 10 months since we came to Malaysia, he pointed out.

“We are eager to know the result and hope to go home at the earliest,” said S. Ramamoorthy, who hails from Chennai, adding they would approach the government.

“Everyday is tough as we are not sending any money home. Some of the families in India are under a lot of pressure from the moneylenders they have borrowed from,” Vellingiri said.

“Initially, we were 79 who filed the case but some had to go home urgently so they were forced to withdraw the case and some were forced to sign a lower wages contract with the company as they could not cope with the circumstances,” he added.

“This will be a real test case for all the foreign workers in Malaysia,” said .V. Subbarow from the Consumer Association of Penang who is helping the workers in getting the justice.

The legal firm Meena Raman & Partners is representing the workers with Mohideen Abdul Kader, a noted lawyer in the country, as the lead counsel.

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