Migrant Workers in Malaysia
The problem of migrant workers has been causing quite a concern for the past few decades. Because of the lack of job opportunities in the home country, people go abroad, often illegally, in order to get better job propositions and earn money (Holgate, 2011). As a rule, such employees have comparatively low qualifications yet are less demanding in terms of wages and working standards. As a result, a massive influx of migrant workers may cause a sharp increase in unemployment rates within a state (Bryant, & Robinson, 2013, 13 August), as the case of Malaysia has shown in a very graphic way (Pye, Daud, Harmono & Tatat, 2012).
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Statement of the Problem: Malaysian Workers Lack Support
Over the past few years, the number of migrant workers offering their services in Malaysia has grown considerably. Unfortunately, together with the influx of cheap migrant labor, the wages for Malaysian migrant workers have dropped impressively (Mofokeng, & Thwala, 2012). As a result, the living conditions provided for the workers, as well as the life standards (Klanarong, Singhanetra-Renard, & Tohmeena, 2011) in general have dropped greatly among the Malaysian migrants (Djafar, & Hassan, 2013). It can be assumed that with the help of a decent leader, such as the Hope for the New Life, which will provide both moral and spiritual guidance to the migrant workers in Malaysia, the quality of life among the latter will improve a few notches. The problem, therefore, concerns both searching for the solution of the situation that the Malaysian workers have trapped themselves into, and exploring the opportunities that a Christian organization, such as the hope for New Life, can possibly provide Malaysian migrant workers with.
Purpose of the Study: Hope for New Life
The purpose of the given paper is to prove that the support of churches for Malaysian migrant workers will contribute to improving the quality of life among the latter by introducing the concept of integrity to them and, therefore, creating a strong community. The paper will prove not only the fact that, when represented by a community, migrant workers are able to fight for their rights to be treated equally (Li, 2011), but also the fact that a Christian organization, such as Hope for New Life, will encourage migrant workers to create a community, whose members will cooperate, thus, contributing to each other’s and their own wellbeing.
Research Questions: Organization’s Efficacy
- Which leadership model of the ones that are commonly used is the most appropriate for addressing the issue concerning the Malaysia migrant workers’ motivation and integrity?
- Is spiritual growth an integral part of one’s personal and professional evolution?
- Can spirituality be used as the means to unite people and create a strong community, the members of which are closely related to each other?
- Can such an organization as the Hope for New Life help Malaysian migrant workers solve the issues related to economy, politics and financial field, i.e., the issues concerning bureaucracy, low wages and even lower life standards?
Hypothesis 1: The hypothesis that the given research is going to prove says that by introducing the principles of shared knowledge, social and professional responsibility and striving for delivering the best results, which, in its turn, will be achieved by reconsidering the leadership model and creating such a leadership style for the Hope for New Life Organization that will incorporate the elements of a transactional, charismatic and assumption-based leadership style, will help improve living standards for Malaysian migrant workers. In addition, it is also suggested that the support of a community plays a he role in the progress of a Malaysian migrant worker; as long as the latter has the required moral and economic support, which the Hope for New life is going to suggest, the living standards and equality principles can be sustained on the required level among Malaysian migrants (Urbano, 2012).
Hypothesis 2: The second hypothesis concerns the effects that faith is going to have on the Malaysian migrant workers. It is suggested that, with the introduction of such a powerful tool for bringing the community together as faith, the Malaysian migrant workers will not only feel more secure and, therefore, start fighting for their rights, but also cooperate more efficiently, thus, supporting each other and facilitating the environment for building strong family relationships, succeeding in their career, etc.
Definition of Key Terms
Migrant labor may indicate either migrant workers in general, or the type of work performed by migrant workers (Danecker, 2013).
Migrant worker is a person who leaves for a foreign country in order to earn money for his or her family; as a rule, these trips are temporary – a migrant worker does not immigrate into the country of his or her choice for good (Graeme, 2011). Such means of employment is traditionally referred to as seasonal work. In addition, a migrant worker is often an illegal immigrant, which results in the migrant worker being employed for a ridiculously small salary and often having to work extra hours (Amnesty International, 2010, p. 13). Migrant workers make a big part of the third world countries population, especially speaking of Africa and Polynesia (Verghis, 2010). In Malaysia, the number of migrant workers has reached three million in 2013 and is growing exponentially (Verghis, 2010).
Assimilation is a process that a number of immigrants into a foreign country usually face when being under the influence of the foreign environment (Gui, Berry, & Zheng, 2011). Similar to acculturation, assimilation is its final stage, when an immigrant actually loses his or her national identity and defines him- or herself as a representative of the culture that was foreign to him or her prior to immigration (Gui, Berry, & Zheng, 2011).
Christian Migrant Association, or Redlands Christian Migrant Association, is an organization located in Redlands, Florida, which assists people who have recently moved into the United States and feel uncertain about their perspectives. Targeted particularly at helping children, RCMA offers extensive help in terms of childcare and education, therefore, helping immigrants search for an appropriate job and provide for their families (Estabrook, 2012).
Christian mission is a mission of the members of the Christian Church, which may be aimed at a number of goals that the Christian Church has; however, the phenomenon is traditionally narrowed down to the process of converting people into the Christian religion by promoting Christianity among the target audience. The Christian Mission is not limited to the process of converting people into the Christian faith, though, and also involves spreading awareness of the Christian religion, encouraging religious literacy among people, etc. (Yu, 2012).
Diaspora is a community of immigrants, migrant workers, or any other group of people who are living temporarily or have moved recently to another country. Originally denoting the dispersion of Jewish people in a country other than Israel, at present, the term is used in a more flexible manner and can be applied to practically any community of immigrants who share origins, culture, traditions, etc. (Talib, Sofian, Mohamad, Senin, Kadir, Yusof, & Hassan, 2012).
Seeing how a dissertation must have a theoretical foil to be based on, it will be required to incorporate at least one theoretical framework to support the research (Buros Institute of Mental Measurements, 2013). However, in the light of the fact that four theories of a worldview are the very focus of the paper, it will be reasonable to talk about four theories making the bulk of the research.
Brief Review of Literature
Assisting Migrant Workers in Malaysia
The problem of migrant workers has been causing quite a concern for the past few decades. Because of the lack of job opportunities in the home country, people go abroad, often illegally, in order to get better job propositions and earn money (Holgate, 2011). As a rule, such employees have comparatively low qualifications yet are less demanding in terms of wages and working standards. As a result, a massive influx of migrant workers may cause a sharp increase in unemployment rates within a state (Bryant, & Robinson, 2013), as the case of Malaysia has shown in a very graphic way (Pye, Daud, Harmono, & Tatat, 2012) As the researchers state, the negotiation process between the employer and the employee in Malaysia, which used to be a very complex procedure involving mutual compromises, has been reduced to the candidate signing the agreement without questioning the validity of the demands that they are supposed to meet (Pye, Daud, Harmono, & Tatat, 2012).
Over the past few years, the situation regarding the Malaysian migrant workers has become even more drastic, the recent researcherssay (Naidu, 2013). While people continue to frequent Malaysia in order to earn money for their families (Naidu, 2013), the conditions in which these people work, as well as very small amounts of money, which they are paid for their work, have led to quite drastic results and a sharp increase in death rates among Malaysian migrant staff (Urbano, 2012). However, not only do Malaysian migrant workers tolerate such a situation, but also create quite high competition rates in the industry, therefore, making the situation even more deplorable (Klanarong, Singhanetra-Renard, & Tohmeena, 2011). These people are intimidated by the threats of their employees to fire them; although employers clearly break every single labor law, the Malaysian migrants are too afraid of losing their job to make a decisive step (Rodriguez, 2011). To change the situation, they need to build a strong community in Malaysia, therefore, being able to protect their rights and freedoms (Klanarong, Singhanetra-Renard, & Tohmeena, 2011). With the help of a powerful and influential organization, which will give the Malaysia workers hope by offering them faith, the given goal can be achieved (Rodriguez, 2011).
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The idea that something as ephemeral as faith can possibly serve as the glue that will keep a group of people with completely different interests, vision, goals, and aspirations together might seem rather far-fetched. However, when taking a closer look at some of the examples of Christian organizations contributing to the evolution of a society and its members, as well as on the effects that faith has on people’s performance, their social involvement, their willingness to fight for their rights, and other attributes of a socially active member of a community (Lee, 2012). Moreover, it is crucial that a Christian organization like Hope for New Life will be able to provide migrant workers with jobs that will help them survive in the competitive business environment, which the Malaysian entrepreneurship seems to have turned into. The use of the so-called faith based organizations is not new (Olarinmoye, 2012). In fact, the given approach has been used recently by Obama’s administration (Lee, 2012).
It is important to keep in mind, though, that a social research is not an equation (Social research methods, n. d.), solving which will ultimately lead to the only possible answer; quite on the contrary, in the process of the problem analysis, a number of other factors, both external and internal, are bound to be detected (Doctoral candidacy resource guide (DCRG), n. d.). More to the point, a social research presupposes that a particular solution should be designed for a unique issue (NCU template applied degree CP, 2013); hence, what suits perfectly for one community, as a specific research may indicate, will not necessarily work for the Hope for New Life. The aforementioned issues complicate the research greatly (Trochim & Donnelly, 2001); as Trochim and Donnelly (2006) explained, “Even for a single hypothesis, there are a number of analyses a researcher might typically conduct” (p. 14). That being said, it would be wrong to disregard the experience of other Christian organizations. For example, some of case studies indicate that faith in general and the power of the Christian spirituality in particular has helped people greatly by motivating them for delivering better performance at work, paying more attention to their family life, etc. (Topali, 2013). In addition, within a community, it will be easier for Malaysian migrant workers to follow a particular example and acquire the spiritual and moral qualities, which will help them stay afloat in the dire situation that they have trapped themselves in.
Sub-Topic: Faith Based Organizations
The Malaysian workers need to create a strong community in order to be able to fend for themselves when applying for a job, as well as acquire new professional skills and evolve both as specialists and as individuals, since church and religion have a huge impact on believers (Topali, 2013). In addition, with the support of a strong and well functioning community, Malaysian workers will no longer be afraid of losing a job because of unwillingness to comply with the despicable conditions imposed on them by their employees. Once Malaysian migrant workers are represented by a community, Malaysian companies will not dare rob the migrant workers of their legal salaries and their constitutional freedoms and rights (Purvis, 2011). As the previous cases of Christian organization handling similar issues show, the idea of offering people faith as the tool for cementing their community and making theirmini-society even stronger is a perfect idea that has a huge potential (Ferrier, 2012).
Some of the sources (Creswell, 2014; Ferrier, 2012), however, point at the obvious limitations or the given research as it has been stressed above, the variety of outcomes for the given study is rather big (Creswell, 2014). Therefore, to achieve success, the Hope for New Life will not be allowed to deviate from the plan that will have been designed for the organization by the end of the research. With a number of external factors in the way (Creswell, 2014), following every single step of the plan that will be outlined is going to be rather difficult. That being said, the research still has a huge potential.
As the studies conducted previously show (Ferrier, 2012; Lee, 2012), migrant workers living within a community are not only better protected from the illegal actions of their employers and inhumane treatment, as well as poor working conditions, but also deliver better results and, therefore, are able to earn more. In addition, in a community, further education and professional training becomes possible (Buros Institute of Mental Measurements, n. d.). This means that migrant workers will be able to take even more responsible positions and carry out the tasks that are much more important for a company; hence, living in a community, migrant workers are able to become competent and well paid workers.
While focusing on the envisioned research problem and purpose, qualitative research design could fit this study. In this regard, the research problem is concerned with the oppression of migrant workers in Malaysia. The government of Malaysia has been harassing the migrant workers such that they have few rights in the country. In essence, human beings are entitled to humane treatment regardless of their origin, geographical location, and race among other attributes. On the other hand, the purpose concerns restoring hope to the migrant workers. It focuses on how the government could consider the migrant workers to ensure that they are not humiliated. The recent research carried out by Douglass Hill and analyzing the vulnerability of the Malaysian migrant staff (Hill, 2012) will be used as the basis for this paper. The two aspects of research require a qualitative approach since the oppression of migrant workers takes place in a naturalistic setting.
Identification and Explanation of Research Design
In this research, it is important to not only evaluate the current behavioral patterns of the Malaysian migrant workers, but also to develop the methods that may shape these patterns. Hence, the qualitative research design should be used as the basis for the research methodology. For the research to be successful, it is important to conduct a range of surveys, which will help evaluate the Malaysian workers’ economic and financial state, as well as the cooperation between the community members. After the Hope for New Life Organization is created, its effects on the Malaysian migrant workers will be evaluated with the help of another survey. After comparing the results, one will be able to come up with a viable strategy for the migrants to follow in order to maintain integrity within the community. During the survey, the target population will include government official, non-governmental organizations, and the migrant workers. Government officials will be responding to questions which focus on how the government treats the migrant workers. The non-governmental organizations will be mandated to provide information concerning the efforts of the organizations towards eliminating that oppression.
The research will involve the collection of data from a sample of the population. This implies that sampling must be conducted effectively in order to ensure that the sample is both reliable and relevant to the study. Consequently, it will involve random purposive sampling where the population is sampled randomly and purposefully (Patton, 2002). In random sampling, the sample is collected in a manner that does not purport any desired result (Sheu, Wei, Chen, Yu, &Tang, 2009). On the other hand, purposefulness ensures that the sample includes people with relevant information concerning the oppression of migrant workers in Malaysia (Stein, Springer, & Kohlmann, 2008). This implies that the data will be reliable and valid.
In essence, there are three distinct methods that a research could adopt. In this light, these research methods include case studies and observational methods. However, the two methods could not be used due to some critical reasons. First, a case study could have been based on previous literature to obtain information about the oppression of migrants in Malaysia. However, the existing literature has focused on the challenges of migrant workers only. In this light, it has not touched on the possible solutions to the problem. As a result, the research requires a unique approach in order to fulfill the designated purpose of this research. Observational method is equally inapplicable since it the research requires participatory observations (Wirth, & Padilla, 2008). However, participatory observation could involve employment in order to observe the oppression in a participatory manner. This implies that the survey method is the most appropriate asinformation is obtained without much many inconveniences that could impact on the outcomes.
A questionnaire refers to a set of questions that a respondent needs to answer in order to provide the relevant information concerning the research study (Chan, Sarna, & Danao, 2008). Because the study involves unique methods, flexible questionnaires will be used to allow manipulation of questions in accordance to the emerging issues. This will, also, allow the concurrent analysis to take place along with collection of data (Shibata, Ikeda, &Kihura, 2008). In addition, the questionnaires will include both closed and opened questions. Closed questions will provide predefined choices so that the respondents choose from them. These questions guide the respondents while answering questions in order to ensure that they do not provide irrelevant information. In addition, it saves a lot of time for the respondents. However, respondents could need to express profound information about the subject even is not inquired. In this case, the questionnaires will include open questions which allow provision of additional information. The additional information could inspirethe development of new themes during the study. As a result, the questions help to expand the scope of the study leading to a better understanding of the matter (Trochim & Donnelly, 2008).
Due to involvement of crucial participants such as government officials, administration of questionnaires is very informal. As a result, it is important to conduct interviews that could help in obtaining information from such people. Although most of the interviews will be conducted physically, some situations will require the application of technological devices such as phone calls, emails, and text messages to save time. The use of technology will assist in saving time for the research since the sample population could be considerably large (Shank, 2006). The application of this method is inspired by the aspect of allowing follow up question to coarse more information from the respondent. The combination of questionnaires and interview will lead to a holistic qualitative methodology which will fulfill the research purpose and solve the problem. It is evident that the envisioned research focuses on issues that are naturalistic. In this regard, the issues should be investigated qualitatively using qualitative research design (Schram, 2006). The design will include a survey which will include activities such as sampling, administration of questionnaires, and interviewing.
Operational Definition of Variables
Seeing how the research in question is focused on the state of the Malaysian migrant workers, the dependent variable is going to be represented by the overall quality of life of the former. It will be necessary to study the role of the Hope for New Life Organization on the state of the migrant workers in Malaysia; hence, the well being of the latter is going to be the key dependent variable, which will hopefully be changed after the work of the organization takes its toll on the migrant workers (Mardsen, 2012) and their values (Clement, 2011) and beliefs (Werlin, 2009). It is assumed that, with the proper support of the Hope for New Life, migrant workers in Malaysia will be motivated to fight for their rights and demand equal payment and working conditions as employees of Malaysian organizations.
Speaking of the independent factors, one must keep in mind that the influence that the Hope for New Life is going to have on migrant workers in Malaysia is going to be the primary factor affecting the changes in the attitudes and behavioral patterns of the latter. Hence, it is reasonable to consider the impact of the organization as the key independent variable. Apart from the power of faith, which can be interpreted as spiritual support, and which Hope for New Life is going to enhance, such independent variables as economic and financial support are going to be introduced (Arvin & Lew, 2012).
The research of the influence that Hope for New Life as a religious organization is going to have on migrant workers in Malaysia presupposes that the problems of the latter should be viewed from several perspectives, which are a religious (Hill, 2012), a political, an economic and a social one (Hassan, 2013). Hence, several methods of measurement should be provided to spot the changes in each of the domains specified after Hope for New Life starts its work.
Malaysian migrant workers are in a dire situation at present (Hassan, 2013). Because of the lack of cooperation between the members of their community, they cannot fend for themselves in the highly competitive Malaysian labor market (Danecker, 2013). Hence, they need a force that could bring them together and provide support. By introducing the Christian concepts of unity and fraternity, the Hope for New Life, a Christian faith based organization, will be able to reinvent the lives of Malaysian migrant workers within a relatively short amount of time (Olarinmoye, 2012), providing them with different behavior patterns and teaching them how powerful a well integrated community can be (Hill 2012).
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