Malaysian reporter says workers in Victoria paid a pittance and kept in overcrowded homes

A Malaysian journalist who went undercover to expose exploitation in Victoria’s fruit picking industry said workers were “brainwashed” with religion and trapped in debt to keep them on farms.

Saiful Hasam, a reporter with Utusan Malaysia, gave evidence to a modern slavery inquiry on Monday, speaking of the “thousand sad stories” he heard during his two weeks at a fruit farm in Swan Hill, in northern Victoria.

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