Contrary to expectations of gaining valuable experience in the actual workplace, what I heard are stories all pointing to the defeat of the purpose of internship. Stories of interns made to photocopy papers or prepare food for boss is so common lah.
The satirical video by JinnyboyTV says it all. It's named "Internsh*t".
Indeed, unpaid internship experience is now clouded by increasing controversy. This is attributed to laws surrounding internship does not provide clear guidelines and their non-enforcement (US context).
But students are not so lucky in Malaysia. Internship is not sanctioned by labour laws, therefore irresponsible companies are free to exploit interns as they wish. A fellow user in Lowyat.net posted:
I do find it a bit absurd about this internship program in Malaysia, the students have no right in saying 'no' to any company the university has assigned them to, they are not allowed to ask about pay or even allowance, they are to work according to what the company told them to, they are not protected by law or even insurance, they are not entitled to medical leave(s), overtime pay & so forth. A conclusion from myself: They are just a bunch of cheap, if not free, unprotected labour of Malaysia.
You can read more inside a thread at Lowyat.net here.
Do you think internships should be governed by law?