Three Burmese migrant workers were killed and one was wounded early this morning in Malaysia’s northern Penang state, according to local sources.
“They shouted for help when they saw robbers trying to burglarize a neighbor’s house, and then the robbers went into their house and killed them,” said Maung Zaw, a member of Penang’s funeral service organization.
He said that the three workers were killed at 6:30 a.m. When the funeral service team went to see the bodies, police informed them they would be unable to hold a funeral while there was an ongoing investigation.
Sources said the four victims, who were from Mandalay Division’s Pyawbwe Township, were stabbed in Penang’s industrial zone.
Hundreds of Burmese migrant workers live in Penang’s industrial zone, many of them illegal migrants, asylum seekers and refugees who work dangerous jobs in factories and on construction sites. Due to lack of proper documentation, they often face arrest, detentions and deportation by the Malaysian authorities.
An official from the Burmese Embassy in Malaysia who asked to remain anonymous told The Irrawaddy that the embassy would investigate the incident and issue a statement later this evening.
The official added that the killing was not prompted by religious tension, after it had spread on social media that the attack might have been related to strain between Burma’s Buddhist and Muslim communities.
Many hundreds of Burmese Refugees and Migrants have been killed in Malaysia for the past 15 years.