JUDGING A BOOK BY ITS COVER

JUDGING A BOOK BY ITS COVER

Let me share with you a story. I came across this migrant worker where I had to make a police report and he had this Excel sheet perfectly with all the unpaid wages. The language that he spoke was very good Bahasa Malaysia and English. I said, “Encik, kamu construction worker sahaja, macam mana kamu boleh cakap BM dengan fasih?” He was in Malaysia only for 3 months and he can speak very good BM and I am here 2 years and still struggling with my BM. He said, “Well adik, I am a Masters holder in Chemical Engineering.” And he is a construction worker in Malaysia. Then I asked how a Masters holder in Chemical Engineering came to be a construction worker here. He shared with me that he was actually a manager in or BMW Car Company in Bangladesh but he was tricked that he will be offered the same position here in Malaysia.

Obviously if you were here, if you were offered a good and same position overseas, wouldn’t you take it? That is exactly what the migrant worker did but he was exploited. He was forced to work because they took his passport. He was forced, exploited and abused and in poor condition and he managed to escape. We as the LAC pupils in Tenaganita had to help him. We brought him to make a police report. We brought him to the embassy and finally we managed to get the passport and his case resolved. What I am trying to tell to you right now is when you look at the migrant worker, please don’t judge them as filthy and smelly. You never know what is their background is unless and until you talk to them. We only start to appreciate the food on our plate because we know how it came. The fisherman is surviving on 2 to 3 hours of sleep for 3 consecutive days. I doubt that any of us can do it here. Even with 6 to 7 hours of sleep we will be complaining tak cukup tidur la. So the discovery that I made to myself is that I should never judge a person who is a local or migrant worker whoever it is. Never judge a book by its cover. I shared this story with my family members and trust me they never look at migrant workers the same way.

HARIPRIYA (KLLAC/TENAGANITA PROGRAM)