Explainer: Undocumented Migrants in Malaysia

An image of a five-petaled hibiscus in which mazes and labyrinths are inscribed, representing the immigration system in Malaysia.

The migrant experience is not monolithic. There are gradients of class, gender, sexuality, race, nationality, skin colour and dis/ability that influence how individual migrants are perceived, the policies that are imposed upon them and the choices migrants are allowed to make.

This explainer focuses on the experiences of migrants in Peninsular Malaysia, addressing some common myths and misperceptions about migrants here. It spotlights some of the motivations or driving forces for migrants to Malaysia; explains the policies that define the kind of work they can engage in; and discusses the laws and practices that shape the spaces migrants can inhabit. It examines their struggles to access justice and their lived experiences in Malaysia.  

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