..."an agreement enforceable by law is a contract" section 2 (h) Contract Act 1950...
A contract of service is a contract under Contract Act 1950, if not for the specific statues that governs it such as Employment Act 1955 and Industrial Relations Act 1967. The general principle not being dealt by specific labour law will still fall into Contract Act 1950.
At has come the attention of the authority, alien that only possessed document issued by the United Nations Commission on Human Rights (UNHCR) seeking employment and employer often ask the labour department whether to accept them as employee or not.
The answer lies in the general rule of employment an any sovereign country, the only person that can take up employment is the citizen. In Malaysia, under the current interpretation of Employment Act 1955, a permanent resident has similar right as citizen as far as employment concern.
Other than the two, nobody can be accepted as an employee and enjoy the protection laid down by labour law. In the growing economy, job are redundant and the domestic supply of labour is insufficient. The government realizing this has decided to open the labour market to foreign worker. Equipped with proper travelling papers dan working permit, foreign worker enter the Malaysian labour market enjoying basically the same benefit as citizen and permanent resident. Thus adding the two group to three.
Other than the three, based on current policy and special circumstances, groups are granted the right to hold employment legally, for example foreigners spouse to Malaysian citizen, Acheh tsunami victim and I believe the Syrian refugee will also be given this special consideration.
A holder of UNHCR card, is not given this consideration, they can work to support their livelihood but in the event of non compliance of condition of service of their employment agreement between an employer and a UNHCR card holder they don't have the right to enforce the agreement. An agreement that cannot be enforce by law shall be void and will have no effect.
Based on the current rule and regulation, until Malaysia rectify ILO convention in relation to migrant worker or accept the status of refugee as in the Syrian refugee, a holder of UNHCR card shall not be able to file claims for non payment of wages amongst other in the labour department.