Wednesday, 21.3.2007: The Ministry Of Labor And Vocational Training Planned To Commit Corrupt Practices Over The Case Of Illegal Khmer Laborers In Thailand

Posted on 23 March 2007. Filed under: Week 500 |

Apologies from the editor

A late transmission of some translations on 21.3.2007 resulted in delays, and we are still derailed from our normal schedule of publishing something every day. I hope we will have caught up with normal routine at the latest by the end of the week.

Norbert Klein


The Mirror, Vol. 11, No. 500

“Because of being poor, Khmer citizens left their home country to look for work in a foreign country. Even though these Khmer citizens met difficulties, they decided to be illegal Khmer laborers because of problems of their livelihood.

“There are approximately 20,000 illegal poor Khmer laborers in Thailand. But the Ministry of Labor and Vocational Training issued an announcement, dated 21 January 2007, which leads to exploitation of Khmer laborers in foreign countries. The ministry commits corrupt practices not only in the country, but also in a foreign country, like in Thailand.

“The ministry’s announcement allowed to take money from illegal Khmer laborers who are working in Thailand, at the rate of Baht 1,500 [approx. US$] per person, to give them identity cards to live temporarily in Thailand. On 17 May 2005, a meeting was held to issue identity cards for illegal Khmer laborers in Thailand, by taking Baht 1,500 from each laborer; at that time there were 72 Khmer laborers registered.

“The Khmer laborers went, assuming to have their names registered to get permits of temporary residence in Thailand, but the Ministry of Labor and Vocational Training, cooperating with the Khmer Embassy and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, did a bad job, which resulted in a situation that the Khmer laborers’ names were not legally registered. The letter No. 173 from Minister Hor Namhong, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, reported to the head of the government about the failure of registering the names, and issuing identity cards for the illegal Khmer laborers in Thailand to stay temporarily in Thailand, because only 72 Khmer laborers were registered. The announcement by the Ministry of Labor and Vocational Training, signed by Mr. Seng Lamnove [position not specified], required to work to register illegal Khmer laborers for temporary residence from 23 April to 30 June 2007, and it also required that each laborer pays Baht 1,500. This announcement was not appropriate, because it required that each laborer has to pay Baht 1,500; and there were only 72 Khmer laborers registered to obtain temporary legal residence in Thailand. The Khmer laborers who are working in Thailand had to spend a lot of money to receive identity cards to stay temporarily in Thailand.

“In an interview with Khmer laborers, they stated that, first, they had to ask their Thai bosses to go to have their names registered, and their bosses did not allow them easily to go. Second, they had to spend Baht 5,000 to 15,000 Baht to travel from their place of work to the place where the identity cards are issued. Third, they had to pay Baht 1,500 for their identity cards issued by the Ministry of Labor and Vocational Training. Fourth, they had to pay Baht 3,900 to 5,000 for a medical checkup. Fifth, they had to spend time and more money to have work permits issued in Thailand, so that they could work in Thai factories. Therefore, the Khmer laborers who are working illegally in Thailand have to spend several ten thousand Baht so that they can work legally in Thailand. The Ministry of Labor and Vocational Training which is the guardian of the Khmer citizens, should have helped its citizens, but it committed corruption by taking money from the Khmer laborers who are getting therefore even poorer.

“Mr. Keo Remy, a representative of the Sam Rainsy party, said yesterday morning, ‘I will write to His Excellency Vong Soth, the Minister of Labor and Vocational Training, in order to clarify in the National Assembly the reason why the ministry took Baht 1,500 from each illegal Khmer laborer.’ He added that he asked the ministry not to take money from these illegal laborers. He was concerned that the Khmer laborers could not have enough money to apply for legal identity cards, and he was also afraid that Thai bosses might conceal this kind of information from Khmer illegal laborers.

“He added that he had many discussions about the Khmer illegal laborers, and he asked the Minister in charge of labor and vocational training to clarify the reason for their actions in the National Assembly. He confirmed, ‘I will invite the minister to clarify this problem in the National Assembly.’ Approximately 20,000 Khmer laborers who are working illegally in Thailand continued to be cheated by their Thai bosses; for example, they do not receive their agreed salaries, some were sold on to another foreign country, and some were jailed in Thai prisons. Therefore, they are appealing to the Cambodian government to help them.” Reach Seima, Vol.2, #164, 20.3.2007

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Wednesday, 21 March 2007

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.6, #1296, 21.3.2007

  • The An Hui Province Of China Wants To Cooperate With Cambodia in the field of agriculture, the provincial governor Wen Haiying stated her intention to Prime Minister Hun Sen]
  • Container Vehicle Run Over and Injured One Municipal Police

Koh Santepheap, Vol.40, 5996, 21.3.2007

  • Strong Reaction Against A Statement That Samdech Mae Is Yuon [has also some Vietnamese ancestors]; The Palace Issued an Announcement To Reject It [the Ministry of Information asked Sralanh Khmer to publish a corrections; Senator Om Monnorine, a sibling of Samdech Mae, emphatically denounced the text also]
  • Today [21 March 2007] Heng Pov [now in prison] Gets On The Cutting Board [metaphor for being tried in court] Over The Case Of Kidnapping A Korean National
  • Sam Rainsy Party Rally Vehicle Collapsed: 2 Killed, 11 Injured When Driving On A Dam [Kompong Cham]
  • Cloudy Weather [during dry season] Will Continue Two More Days

Moneaksekar Khmer, 14, 3114, 20.3.2007

  • Mr. Sam Rainsy: Little Donations From Corrupted People Will Keep Poverty From Present To Future Generations

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.15, #4241, 21.3.2007

  • 304 Houses And 2 Schools Were Destroyed; 3 People Were Killed In Battambang; 45 Houses In Banteay Meanchey Were Destroyed, 1 Was Killed
  • Mrs. Keat Kolaney [a sister of the Minister Of Finance Keat Chhon Appeared In Court Over The Case Of Grabbing 500 Hectares Of Land [she said she bought the land from villagers at their request at the cost of $180/per hectare; civil society is waiting to see what actions the court will take]

Reach Seima, Vol.2, #164, 20.3.2007

  • The Ministry Of Labor And Vocational Training Planned To Commit Corrupt Practices Over The Case Of Illegal Khmer Laborers In Thailand
  • The US [Ambassador] Is Not Happy To See The Court Being Used To End Samdech Krom Preah’s Political Life

Reachea Thibbatay, Vol.2, #51, 20-25.3.2007

  • Major Historical Achievements Of Cambodian People’s Party and Policies For Development of the Communes For the Years 2007 to 2012
  • It Was the Activity of Leaders of Cambodian People’s Party Who Worked To Re-establish and Protect the Monarchy, The Throne, And the Royal Regime
  • One More Dirt Road Paved – Another Donation Of The Three Samdech [Heng Samrin, Chea Sim, and Hun Sen] – Was Constructed By Sophann Construction Company [Note: this company belongs to the owner of this newspaper]

Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.14, #2996, 21.3.2007

  • The US Ambassador Pays Attention To the Life Skills In Rural Areas [such as fixing bicycles, gardening, germinating mushrooms with Children studying at schools in Ratanakiri]

Sralanh Khmer, Vol.3, #358, 21.3.2007

  • Son Chhay Pushes The National Assembly Today To Include Into Its Agenda The Schedule For The Prime Minister To Come And Clarify Issues Related To Land Grabbing
  • Members Of The Khmer-Yuon Border Committee Hold A Meeting [to discuss installing border poles]

Go to last week’s editorial

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