The Continuous Precarious Situation of the Refugees and Migrant Workers in Malaysia Post-COVID-19

Sheila Devi Michael


The COVID-19 pandemic positioned the global population in a conundrum state and the most vulnerable were the refugees and migrant workers. It is a common narrative for governments and the people to treat them indifferently because of their illegal status thus creating a xenophobic environment against them. A similar situation occurred for these vulnerable groups in Malaysia during managing and mitigating the spread of COVID-19 resulting in the Malaysian government neglecting the fundamental human rights to protect the refugees and migrant workers from discrimination, abuse, and exploitation. By international standards, Malaysia is far from defending the rights of vulnerable groups, particularly the plight of refugees and migrant workers. Therefore, this paper aims to highlight and discuss the qualm conditions of these refugees and migrant workers during COVID-19 and the continuous precarious situation against them. Data was gathered from primary and secondary sources such as official statements, mainstream media and reports from local and international organisations. Findings show that the precarious situation remains the same for these vulnerable people, hence the Malaysian government should seriously work out comprehensive policies to alleviate the abysmal condition against them. 


COVID-19; human rights; precarious situation; refugees; migrant workers; Malaysia

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