Migrant Workers in Malaysia: Preliminary Research Design


While focusing on the envisioned research problem and purpose, qualitative research design could fit this study. In this regard, the research problem relates to the oppression of migrant workers in Malaysia. The government of Malaysia has been harassing migrant workers such that they have few rights in the country. In essence, the government is mandated to protect the human rights of all citizens regardless of their tribe, geographical origin, and race among other attributes. On the other hand, the purpose of the research is to restore hope to the migrant workers. It focuses on how the government could consider the migrant workers to ensure that natives do not humiliate them. The two aspects of research require a qualitative approach because the oppression of migrant workers takes place in a naturalistic setting.

Identification and Explanation of Research Design

Research Extension

In this research, it is important to survey to collect data from people with first-hand information about migrants’ oppression. The data collection is meant to extend peer-reviewed research by Hilsdon and Giridharan in 2008. The research focused on how the Filipina migrants are subjected to ethnicity and sexual discrimination in East Malaysia (Hilsdon & Giridharan, 2008). However, the research is limited to focusing on Filipina migrants and the Eastern part of the country. In addition, the research is only concerned with oppression which is in line with sexuality and ethnicity. As a result, the envisioned research will extend the scope by investigating the treatment of migrant workers in western and central Malaysia. Additionally, it will focus on other aspects of discrimination such as nationality and age.

Research Design

During this survey, the target population will include government officials, non-governmental organizations, and migrant workers. Government officials will be responding to questions that focus on how the government treats migrant workers. The non-governmental organizations will provide information concerning the efforts of the organizations towards eliminating that oppression.

The research will involve the collection of data from a sample population. This requires effective sampling 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 randomness ensures that the sample does not purport any desired result rather than the naturalistic ones (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.

The Rationale of Survey Method

In essence, there are three distinct methods that research could adopt. In this light, these research methods include case studies and observational methods. However, the two methods could not apply due to some critical reasons. First, previous literature is the basis of obtaining 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 to fulfill the designated purpose of this research. The observational method is equally inapplicable because the research could require participatory observations (Wirth, & Padilla, 2008). However, participatory observation could involve employment to observe the oppression in a participatory manner.


A questionnaire refers to a set of questions that a respondent should answer 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 with the emerging issues. This will, also, allow the concurrent analysis to take place along with the collection of data (Shibata, Ikeda, &Kihura, 2008). In addition, the questionnaires will include both closed and open questions. Closed questions will provide predefined choices so that the respondents choose from them. These questions guide the respondents while answering questions to ensure that they do not provide irrelevant information. In addition, it saves a lot of time for the respondents. However, respondents need to express profound information about the subject even if it is not inquired. In this case, the questionnaires will include open questions which allow the provision of additional information. The additional information could inspire the development of new themes during the study (Trochim & Donnelly, 2008).


Due to the involvement of crucial participants such as government officials, the 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 are physical, 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 allows follow-up questions that help in obtaining more information from the respondents. The combination of questionnaires and interviews will lead to a holistic qualitative methodology that 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, investigating these issues requires a qualitative approach (Schram, 2006). The survey will include activities such as sampling, administration of questionnaires, and interviewing.


Chan, S., Sarna, L., & Danao, L. (2008). Are nurses prepared to curb the tobacco epidemic in China? A questionnaire survey of schools of nursing. International Journal of Nursing Studies, 45(5), 706-713.doi:10.1016/j.ijnurstu.2006.12.008.

Patton, M. (2002). Qualitative research & evaluation methods (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Schram, T. (2006). Conceptualizing and proposing qualitative research. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Merrill Prentice Hall.

Shank, G. (2006). Qualitative research: A personal skills approach. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Merrill Prentice Hall.

Sheu, S.-J., Wei, I.-L., Chen, C.-H., Yu, S., & Tang, F.-I. (2009). Using snowball sampling method with nurses to understand medication administration errors. Journal of Clinical Nursing,18(4), 559-569. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2702.2007.02048.x.

Shibata, Y., Ikeda, H., &Kihura, K. (2008). Questionnaire survey of physical properties of urea preparations. Nishi Nihon Hifuka, 70(6), 634-638. doi:10.2336/nishinihonhifu.70.634.

Stein, H., Springer, M., & Kohlmann, B. (2008). Comparison of two sampling methods for biomonitoring using aquatic macroinvertebrates in the Dos Novillos River, Costa Rica. Ecological Engineering, 34(4), 267-275. doi:10.1016/j.ecoleng.2007.06.010.

Trochim, W., & Donnelly, J. (2008). The research methods knowledge base. Mason, OH: Cengage Learning.

Wirth, R. M., & Padilla, R. V. (2008). College student success: A qualitative modeling approach. Community College Journal of Research and Practice, 32(9), 688-711.doi:10.1080/10668920701380942.

Hilsdon, A., & Giridharan, B. (2008). Racialised Sexualities: The Case Of Filipina Migrant Workers In East Malaysia. Gender, Place & Culture, 15(6), 611-628. doi: 10.1080/09663690802518529.

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