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Sad Story of 5 Kenyan Workers Stranded in Malaysia, Cry for Government Help

by Samantha
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A group of young Kenyans who traveled to Malaysia in search of employment is crying out for justice after being abandoned by their employer, who terminated their contracts without payment.

The five individuals, namely Charles Macharia, Geoffrey Maina, David Kevin Ochola, Dickson Otieno, and Sospeter Ngahu, have been forced to sleep on the steps of an abandoned warehouse in Johor Bahru, a five-hour drive from the capital city, Kuala Lumpur.

In an interview with Citizen, these individuals shared their ordeal of being brought to Malaysia through a Kenyan agent known as David in April 2023, with promises of better job opportunities.

Upon arrival, they were handed over to a Malaysian agent named Annand, who then placed them with a transportation company in Johor Bahru.

They claim that for over two months, they have not received their salaries, and when they inquired, they were told that they had already been paid through their agent, Annand.

Ngahu, speaking via video call, expressed their dire situation, saying, “We have been sleeping in cardboard boxes because we have nothing. We are stuck here, and even the company terminated our employment and issued us a notice to vacate the warehouse by September 1. But we have nowhere to go.”

Their efforts to demand payment from the agent proved futile as Annand displayed arrogance, leaving them without recourse.

Ngahu further described their hardships, stating, “We feel like we were sold here as slaves because Annand claimed he bought us, and that’s why we are not being paid. This is modern-day slavery.”

The five individuals have made every effort to secure the assistance needed to return home but have encountered numerous obstacles.

As of now, they have accumulated fines they must pay to the Malaysian government before they can depart. Each of them requires Ksh35,000 as fines.

The flight back to Nairobi from Kuala Lumpur will cost each of them Ksh70,000, meaning each of them needs Ksh105,000 to return to Kenya and start anew.

“Our families do not have that kind of money, which is why we are stuck here. Every day, the debts are piling up, and that means even when we return home, we will start from scratch,” Ngahu added.

Efforts to seek assistance from the Kenyan embassy in Malaysia have not yielded results either. The embassy has stated that it can only help if the individuals can gather the fines and purchase tickets to Nairobi.

The five individuals are appealing to the Kenyan government to intervene and assist them in returning home to their families. Ngahu pleaded, “All we are asking for is help to return home. We came here to support ourselves and our families, but we realized we were deceived. Kenyan and Malaysian agents know what they are doing. Please help us get back home.”

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