Child labourers living in fear on Sabah plantations, says Suhakam

Hailey Chung Wee Kye

Sabah relies almost entirely on foreign workers to fill its labour shortage, especially on the oil palm plantations. – The Malaysian Insight file pic, August 27, 2021.

TWELVE-YEAR-OLD Uto worked 10 hours a day with his father on a small plantation in Tawau, Sabah, hoisting fruits so heavy his aching muscles kept him awake at night.

One day he sneaked off to visit his favourite aunt in a nearby village. Uto was caught by the authorities. Lacking a passport, he was carted off to a crowded detention centre.  

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