Migrant Workers in Malaysia and the Hope for the New Life

Introduction: The Hope for the New Life as a Means to Support the Malaysian Migrant Workers

When people migrate to a different state, they have to face new environment, new rules and new problems. Because of the lack of cohesion among the migrant workers in Malaysia, the migrants are facing a crisis. Introducing the idea of faith and integrity into the migrants’ community, the Hope for the New Life will be able to help the migrants. Malaysian migrants need the idea that would make them closer. Introducing the Malaysian migrant workers to faith and the principles of a religious community will help them become stronger and overcome the obstacles in the foreign land.

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Brief Literature Review: The Recent Researches on the Malaysian Migrant Issue and Possible Leadership Models

In the course of the research, it has been discovered that the issues concerning the life of migrant workers in Malaysia have been noticed several times and even researched accordingly. However, there have been no possible solutions suggested to the detected problems. In the light of the fact that the key problems of migrant workers in Malaysia have already been listed in the previous research, it is necessary to summarize the basic complexities and to offer a detailed account of the existing issues. Thus, the basic steps for the further action plan for the Hope for the New Life can be marked and the appropriate leadership strategy can be chosen.

Migrants in Malaysia and the issues that they face

As it has been mentioned above, the issue concerning the complexities faced by migrants in Malaysia has been raised several times, and for good reasons. According to the existing evidence, Malaysian migrant workers face numerous problems. There have been a number of researches concerning the typical issues faced by Malaysian migrant workers. Kosher (2009) offers another important information concerning the typical problems of migrants. Although Kosher does not consider exactly Malaysian migrant labor force, he still provides a detailed account of the factors that lead to migration in general. Therefore, the key motifs of the migrant workers can be analyzed and the possible ways of satisfying their needs can be found.

Blaming the global financial crisis for the increase in migration rates all over the world, Koser puts the emphasis on the state policies leading to the migrants’ dissatisfaction: “In Malaysia and Singapore, labor market policies have been put in place to encourage employers to retrench migrant workers and then replace them with unemployed nationals” (Koser, 2009, 15). Therefore, the means to restore the state economy do not seem to respond to the needs of the migrant labor force. Hence, it can be suggested that the migrant workers should not occupy a single niche, i.e., should get a proper professional training and, thus, have more options in terms of employment, thus, leaving room for the citizens of Malaysia. Alternatively, the Hope for the New Life could offer the migrant workers the opportunity to work for the organization, therefore, restoring the balance between the Malaysian labor resources and the migrant ones.

However, economic issues are not the only concern of the migrant workers. With the help of such researches as the paper written by Lu (2006), female migrant workers along with the native dwellers have been recently put under great stress: “In Malaysia, reports of ‘mass hysteria’ among women workers were deemed byemployers as ‘evil spirit derision’ when it was a response to the highly stressful work and quotaproduction” (Lu, 2006, 69). That said, it is clear that the Hope for the New Life could help the migrant workers by turning them into a closer community, which will be able to fight for their rights. However, it should also be mentioned that not only the rights of migrant female workers, but also the rights of the Malaysian women are often infringed, according to Buscher and Heller (Buscher & Heller, 2010). In contrast to the native population, however, migrant male workers also often face abuse in the workplace (Crinis, 2012).

In their turn, Djafar and Hassan contribute to the given research by offering exact statistical data concerning the number of migrant workers in Malaysia as for 2012, analyzing the key factors that hinder the migrant workers succeed in Malaysia, as well as the factors that can possibly help the migrants succeed. It is important that the study attempts to embrace all ethnicities, yet focuses on the Indonesian migrant labor force, since the latter clearly prevails.

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However, for the Hope for the New Life to get off the ground and study the situation with the Malaysian migrant workers the best way possible, it is necessary to consider the arguments of the opponents as well. There is no secret that the Malaysian citizens are far from being excited to see their labor market flooded with cheap migrant labor force. Hence, economic and social problems arise, tearing the fabric of the Malaysian society apart. According to Noor, Isa, Said & Jalil, there are two ways to view the influx of the migrant labor. From a macroeconomic viewpoint, cheaper migrant labor “brings a good impact to the receiving countries” (Noor, Isa, Said & Jalil, 2011, 172). On the other hand, the rates of unemployment among the citizens of Malaysia have grown, which means that the macroeconomics of Malaysia suffers. That said, it is clear that both sides of the argument suffer.

Hence, it is required to introduce new methods of training and educating the migrant workers so that they could take not only one niche, but several ones, thus, allowing the native citizens to take the positions that used to be occupied by the migrants. In the light of the above-mentioned facts, one might argue that the Malaysian government should, probably, prohibit the state officials from allowing migrant labor force into the state; however, it is necessary to keep in mind that Malaysia has a long history of giving shelter migrant workers (See & Ng, 2010, 19).Therefore, it is necessary to find a compromise between the migrant labor force and the native Malaysians, which he Hope for the New Life is bound to handle.

It is rather peculiar that of all the studies mentioned above, each considers carefully the key financial, economic and social factors with the exception of one, i.e., religion. While it is clear that religion performs an essential function in the society, that is, provides a system of morals, values and rules of behavior to comply with, there is one research that actually addresses the religious issue. Though McCabe (2011) does not mention exact communities, she makes it clear that religion is going to bring migrants closer and, therefore, help solve the existing complexities faster and more efficiently. The given issue brings the research to the next question – namely, the means with the help of which a religious organization can possibly help migrant workers in Malaysian setting. Finally, Kneebone (2012) offers important statistical data concerning the increase of the migrant labor use in Malaysia.

Considering the possible leadership models

Naturally, to introduce a successful course of action that will help the Malaysian migrant workers become a closer and, therefore, stronger community, which will be able to fight for their own rights and demand equal wages with the native residents of Malaysia. In addition, it will be necessary to help the migrant workers enroll into specific courses, i.e., language and professional skills training, thus, becoming experts in their profession and being able to face the competition with the native dwellers. The given goal can be achieved with the help of specific leadership strategies gathered after a thorough analysis of the contemporary literature. To start with, it is clearly that the Hope for the New Life will have to adopt the strategies of transformational leadership. Shaping and changing the migrants’ attitude towards the situation is crucial, seeing how it is hardly possible to change the attitude of the Malaysians towards the migrants. With the help of Carter (2009), however, changing the Malaysian migrant workers’ attitude towards their state is easier. Carter’s work helps understand the basics of transformational leadership, thus, making it easier to develop the leadership strategy for the help for the New Life.

It is crucial, however, to distinguish between the transformational and the servant leadership; while the former allows for bringing the migrant workers together into a religious community and shaping their social behavior later on, servant leadership will presuppose a much milder approach that will most likely have no effect on the migrants. Parolini, Patterson & Winston (2009) will help tell the two apart and draw the line between the transformational leadership and the servant leadership. It is worth mentioning that the authors provide extensive statistical data to prove their point, which means that the results of the research are very trustworthy.

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However, to choose the most appropriate leadership style for the Hope for the New Life, it is necessary to consider all existing possibilities. Manners’s (2013) research will help to check the key leadership styles, i.e., transformational, charismatic, autocratic, democratic, transactional and laissez-faire leadership styles. With the help of the aforementioned paper, it will be possible to choose the most appropriate strategies of each leadership style and incorporate them into a single strategic plan for the Hope for the New Life. After all, it is necessary to develop a viable strategy, for the success of an organization will depend on the leadership longevity, as Fitz & Ibrahim (2010) explain.

Unfortunately, even with the best possible strategy, there is always the threat of corruption. Once the Hope for the New Life becomes stronger and expands, involving more new members and, therefore, requiring a more complex structure, it will be quite problematic to keep the organization running without any red tape or corruption. This is where the paper written by Sharma (2010) is likely to help. Offering a thorough analysis of the factors causing corruption within organizations, Sharma suggests the means to fight it. According to Sharma, spiritual leadership will most likely be the silver bullet that will save such an organization as the Hope for the New Life when it grows bigger and will include more members. However, it is worth keeping in mind that at the beginning of its work, the Hope for the New Life will be rather small; hence, the strategy for coordinating a smaller organization will be required. Also introducing the idea of spiritual and charismatic leadership, Rudolph’s (2009) concept of trait leadership will help keep a small organization in one piece.

Hope for the New Life: following the footsteps of other religious organizations

The last, but definitely not the least, the examples of successful religious organizations that have completed their goals and helped the migrant workers reach their top in the foreign environment are crucial for the Hope for the New Life. Once considering the examples of the most successful organizations, as well as analyzing the failures of their less successful clones, the Hope for the New Life can become a truly important segment of the life of Malaysian migrant workers. Thus, the works describing the greatest achievements of religious organizations helping migrants must be considered.

Among the ones that deserve the closest attention, the paper by Kalir (2009) should be named. Although Kalir deals with the issue of Chinese migrant workers in Israel, it is necessary to mention that the issues faced by the Chinese migrants are very similar to the ones that the migrants in Malaysia have to deal with. Therefore, Kalir’s paper can be considered as a model to follow. It will be also reasonable to consider some of the approaches that the Chinese migrants used and to suggest these approaches to the migrants in Malaysia: “Most Chinese migrants ardently save money in Israel in order to finance the building of a new house in their village back home in China” (Kalir, 2009, 19).

In their turn, Chung, Bemak & Grabosky (2011) bring up a very interesting issue concerning the leadership strategies within a multicultural society. Although the case in pint concerns immigrants rather than migrants, it still is a meaningful study in the field of a culture clash, as well as the clash of demands from the migrants and the citizens of the state. Chung, Bemak & Grabosky (2011) offer a peculiar approach that involves advocacy and counseling; supposedly, the given method can be adopted by the Hope for the New Life. Rahman & Yeoh (2011) consider the implementation of specific strategies used by a Hundi social organization to channel migrant remittances from East and South-East Asia to Bangladesh.

Given the successful results, the research can be considered an essential addition to the methodology and the further action plan of the Hope for the New Life. Nakonz & Shik (2008) consider the problem that is similar to the one with the migrants in Malaysia, yet involves the Hong Kong setting. Morales (2009) suggests introducing medical services into the migrant community first, which is very important given the deplorable state of the migrants’ health in Malaysia. Finally, Lindstrom (2011) considers a similar problem with the Vanuatu migrants, suggesting that migrants should integrate into the society that they have migrated to, therefore, adopting the specific culture and increasing their chances to succeed in the new environment. With the help of the given researches, coining a unique leadership strategy for the Hope for the New Life will be easier. It seems that the most appropriate model is the transformational one, for it helps migrants adapt to the new state and the new requirements.

Problem Statement: What Needs to Be Addressed Immediately. The Malaysian Migrants and the Complexities That They Face

The key problem, therefore, is that the migrant workers in Malaysia are not capable of choosing the right behavior to be considered as professionals who must be appreciated and will not bear being tempered with. Since the voice of a single person will hardly be of any effect, it is clear that the migrant workers need to create a community. However, it appears that there is not enough integrity among the migrants in Malaysia. Because of the lack of integrity between the migrant labor force in Malaysia, the latter faces many economic, financial and social problems, which the Hope for the New Life can solve by joining the migrant workers society with the help of religious beliefs.

Purpose Statement: The Hope for the New Life and Its Mission. The Major Goal, the Objectives and the Action Plan

The purpose of the given paper is to prove that with the help of a proper leadership model and introducing strong moral values and faith postulates to the migrant workers in Malaysia, the Hope for the New Life will be able to lead the migrants out of the pit that they are in now into a massive success. The mission of the Hope for the New Life is making the lives of those in need for help better, which means that the organization members will do everything possible to bring the migrants out of poverty and misery. Therefore, the given paper is aimed at developing the strategy for the Hope for the New Life to help the Malaysian migrants. The given goal is achieved by choosing a proper leadership strategy.

The Research Questions: Listing the Key Methodological Steps to Be Undertaken

In the course of the research, several important questions are going to be answered. To start with, it will be necessary to consider the action plan for the migrant workers to establish their community in Malaysia as a very strong one. Further on, it will be required to figure out what kind of education model the migrant workers will need to acquire the necessary professional skills. It will also be of great use to introduce language courses for the migrants who cannot speak the Malay language. Once the migrant workers are able to communicate efficiently, employees will be interested in them much more. The final and the most important issue concerns establishing morals and a specific code of conduct for the migrant workers to comply with. Once the society has stable moral values and principles, it will remain strong and resistant to all sorts of crises.

Conclusion: Bringing All Ideas Together. Topic Paper Summary

Despite the numerous challenges that the Hope for the New Life will have to face in order to help the migrants in Malaysia, with the help of an efficient transformational leadership model, the organization will be able to change the lives of the Malaysian migrant workers for the better. Faith being the glue that will keep the society together, the Hope for the New Life will be able to convince the migrant workers to change their behavior and attitude, as well as show them the necessity to develop their professional skills, therefore reducing poverty and unemployment rates among the migrant workers in Malaysia. Therefore, the Hope for the New Life will be able to help the migrants in Malaysia believe in themselves. Offering faith and support, the Hope for the New Life will help the Malaysian migrant workers realize what they are capable of, thus, making the process of their acculturation easier.

Reference List

Buscher, D. & Heller, L. (2010). Desperate lives: Urban refugee women in Malaysia and Egypt. Forced Migration Review, 34, 20–22.

Carter, J. C. (2009). Transformational leadership and pastoral leadership effectiveness. Pastoral Psychology, 58, 261–271.

Chung, R. C.-Y., Bemak, F. & Grabosky, T. K. (2011). Multicultural-social justice leadership strategies: Counseling and advocacy with immigrants. Journal for Social Action in Counseling and Psychology, 3(1), 86–102.

Crinis, V. (2012). The challenges of fieldwork: Researchers, clothing manufacturers, and migrant workers. Journal of Social Issues in Southeast Asia, 27(1), 168–189.

Djafar, F. & Hassan, M. K. H. (2012). Dynamics of push and pull factors of migrant workers in developing countries: The case of Indonesian workers in Malaysia. Journal of Economics and Behavioral Studies, 4(12), 703–711.

Fitz, D. A. & Ibrahim, N. A. (2010). The impact of leadership longevity on innovation in a religious organization. Journal of Business Ethics, 96, 223–231.

Kalir, B. (2009). Finding Jesus in the holy land and taking him to China: Chinese temporary migrant workers in Israel converting to evangelical Christianity. Sociology of Religion, 70(2), 130–156.

Kneebone, S. (2012). The governance of labor migration in Southeast Asia. Global Governance, 16(3), 383–396.

Koser, K. (2009). The impact of the global financial crisis on international migration. Journal of Diplomacy and International Relations, 11(1), 13–18.

Lindstrom, L. (2011). Vanuatu migrant lives in village and town. Ethnology, 50(1), 1–15.

Lu, J. L. (2006). Occupational health and safety of women workers: Viewed in the light of labor regulations. Journal of International Women’s Studies, 12(1), 68–78.

Manners, A. (2013). Influence of transformational, autocratic, democratic, and laissez-faire leadership principles on the effectiveness of the religious leaders. Ann Arbor, MI: ProQuest.

McCabe, E. (2011). Religion at the corner of bliss and nirvana: politics, identity and faith in new migrant communities. Wagadu: a Journal of Transnational Women’s and Gender Studies, 9, 210–213.

Morales, A. (2009). A social currency approach to improving health-related quality of life for migrant workers. Southern Rural Sociology, 24(1), 92–112.

Nakonz, J. & Shik, A. W. Y. (2009). And all your problems are gone: religious coping strategies among Philippine migrant workers in Hong Kong. Mental Health, Religion & Culture, 12(1), 25–38.

Noor, Z. M., Isa, N., Said, R. & Jalil, S. A. (2011). The impact of foreign workers on labour productivity in Malaysian manufacturing sector. International Journal of Economics and Management, 5(1), 160–178.

Parolini, J., Patterson, K. & Winston, B. (2009). Distinguishing between transformational and servant leadership. Leadership & Organization Development Journal, 30(3), 274–291.

Rahman, M. M. & Yeoh, B. S. A. (2008). The social organization of Hundi: Channelling migrant remittances from East and South-east Asia to Bangladesh. Asian Population Studies, 4(1), 5–29.

Rudolph, L. R. (2013). Exploring the effect of leadership influence on member accountability in a small nonprofit religious organization. Ann Arbor, MI: ProQuest.

Sharma, R. R. (2010). Preventing corruption through spiritual leadership in organizations. Organization and Management, 1(139), 135–151.

See, C. M. & Ng, K.-M. (2010). Counseling in Malaysia: History, current status, and future trends. Journal of Counseling and Development, 88(1), 18–22.

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