Skip to main content
Policy Briefs

Policy Brief No.8

By February 10, 2021October 29th, 2023No Comments

Migrant Labour in Malaysia: Challenges Amplified by COVID-19

The term “migrant worker” is generally used to describe foreign workers who migrate from poorer countries (relative to the host country) to work in jobs categorized as either low or semi-skilled. In Malaysia, we have simply never known how many migrant workers reside within our borders. Estimates for the number of foreign workers range from 2 million to upwards of 5.5 million people, but this number does not consider the true number of undocumented foreigners in Malaysia, which includes stateless persons, trafficked or smuggled individuals, refugees, and asylum-seekers. In this brief, I will discuss the nature of migrant labour in Malaysia, as well as challenges before and during COVID-19 surrounding this issue.