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Title: The media and migrant labour issues in Malaysia: A content analysis of selected Malaysian newspapers
Contributor(s): Kaur, Kiranjit (author)
Publication Date: 2005
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Abstract: For centuries Malaysia has received several waves of immigrants from China, India, Indonesia and the Middle East. During the period of British colonial rule Chinese and Indian migrant workers were recruited to work in the tin mines, the sugar, rubber and coffee plantations, and also on the construction of roads and railways. This mass labour migration resulted in changes in the composition of the Malayan population and the development of a plural society where ethnicity was also identified with economic function. The Malays were identified with agriculture (padi and rubber) and public services; the Chinese with trade, industry and mining; and the Indians with plantation agriculture and employment in the transport sector. In the late 1960s and 1970s the booming timber industry in Sabah attracted an influx of Filipino immigrant labour. This was followed by a wave of Muslim Filipinos from Mindanao seeking refuge in Sabah (Pillai 1992). They were allowed to reside in Sabah by the then Sabah government. Indonesians escaping poverty also crossed the Malacca Strait in droves to work in Peninsular Malaysia as well as in Sabah and Sarawak. Historical and cultural links between people in the Northern Peninsular Malaysian states and Thailand also resulted in Thais crossing the border to work in the padi fields during the harvesting season. The recruitment of foreign workers expanded in the 1980s and 1990s to meet Malaysia's labour shortages in the plantation, constructing, and domestic work sectors.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: RIMA: Review of Indonesian and Malaysian Affairs, 39(2), p. 69-90
Publisher: Association for the Publication of Indonesian and Malaysian Studies Inc
Place of Publication: Canberra, Australia
ISSN: 0815-7251
Field of Research (FOR): 160303 Migration
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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