Cambodian PM Accuses Thailand of Planning to Expel Migrant Workers

Cambodian PM Accuses Thailand of Planning to Expel Migrant Workers
The first group of Cambodian workers under labor MOU enters Thailand (photo: Pattaya Mail)

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen falsely claimed at a rally that Thailand’s Move Forward Party, which recently won the national elections, plans to expel migrant workers from Cambodia, Laos, and Myanmar, who are currently working in the country.

Speaking at a rally attended by 17,000 workers at an industrial park in Kandal province, Hun Sen said any plan to expel foreign migrant workers, particularly from Cambodia, Laos, and Myanmar, would not only seriously impact the countries’ economies, but also notably affect Thailand’s economy, which heavily depends on foreign labor.

As Hun Sen does not reveal how he reached his conclusion that migrant workers were in peril of being forced to leave Thailand, Bangkok Post points out that one administrative provision related to migrant workers was recently extended to ensure policy continuity between the previous and the new government.

PM Hun Sen went on to comment that, “winning the election does not mean you become the prime minister. Up to 376 votes are needed to form a government, not just 151 votes.”

The long-serving Cambodian Leader will himself be facing elections in July, but his only real opposition party has already been dissolved by the Supreme Court over some paperwork issue in May.

A group that aids Cambodian migrant workers in Thailand acknowledged that it was concerned about their status as rumors circulated that they could no longer work in the country.

However, it is merely a change in policy where Thai authorities have allowed employers who require Cambodian and Laotian migrant workers to register their foreign employees’ quotas in their respective provinces, instead of coming to the Department of Labor in Bangkok, making the process easier for them.

Last week, a cabinet approved employment contract extensions for over 200,000 migrant workers, which will only be valid while the current government operates in a caretaker capacity, and this will be reviewed again once a new administration is established.