Amidst daily news headlining the horrors faced by job scam victims, particularly testimonies from survivors who returned home, a shocking update saw Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah telling the Dewan Rakyat that a portion of these victims ‘trapped’ in Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Myanmar had refused help.
“While it’s true that a majority if them were scammed into working under the syndicates, some of them are actually satisfied with their jobs there,” he said, adding that several victims had been holidaying abroad when targeted by these syndicates offering attractive salaries.
“The communications and multimedia ministry has also begun communicating messages which aim to serve as warnings to Malaysians not to fall prey to these vile scams,” he added.
Saifuddin also noted that a total of 261 Malaysians were rescued from neighbouring countries to date; 171 of which have returned to their home grounds while the rest are on the repatriation waitlist.
In addition to that, rumours depicting that over 3,000 victims have failed to be located were shut down as Saifuddin explained that the number may have been inclusive of older figures from when he first served as foreign minister between 2018 and 2020, therefore and do not accurately reflect the current situation.
Saifuddin also said he hoped Budget 2023 would provide a bigger allocation to his ministry, specifically to help about 2,500 Malaysians who were either being detained or stranded overseas.
Previously, JUICE reported a Muslim woman’s account of how she was physically abused, turned into a sexual object to please men and forced to eat pork while stranded in Cambodia. To “maintain their appearances” as prostitutes, some women were also tortured, electrocuted, and forced to diet to remain thin.
Netizens have speculated that the ‘victims’ who do not want to return home may have been among those who are working as scammers to bait victims on behalf of the syndicates and are most likely getting paid well.