Ming Lee Hong

Foreign worker is human too.

Unfairly Treated Life-saver

I am a typical Malaysia student. I do part time job whenever I am free. There are some times I come across some jobs that requires me to work together with foreign workers. Similar to the majority of Malaysians out here, I never had a positive impression towards these workers. Until one day, I was working with a technical crew for a Malaysia artist's concert, I came across an incident that changed my perspective towards foreign worker.

2 hours before the concert, I was working together with a foreign worker to set up the confetti machine. While I was installing the conducting pipe from carbon dioxide tank to the machines,  I did not realise the (there were some) cracks at the head of the tank. When I thought I finished the installation, I turned around and planned to leave the site. However the foreign worker who was beside me heard  a cracking sound coming from the tank and immediately covered me from behind to  hold me down low. At the same time, the carbon dioxide gas stream bursted out rapidly from the cracked part of the tank and it almost hit him. It would have hit me if he didn't cover me!

After the incident, I had a conversation with the foreign worker and thanked him for saving me from hurt. His name is Ban, from Bangladesh. He is a long term worker for an events company. After a short introduction, he started to tell me the  unfair treatment he experienced in the company. He was receiving a very low salary range from 1200 to 1500 MYR every month. When the company  has events  to set up, he has to go help. But every time the foreign workers  are not given lunch while the other non-foreign worker company staff can have lunch "tapao" by their boss. They do not dare to  speak a word on this and try to hold out the hunger till dinner time. Despite the low wage, they are not getting proper treatment as employees. My sympathy towards them started to come out from my feelings.

What I am trying to say is, foreign workers are humans too. Not all foreign workers commit crime, not all of them are bad, it is only a handful of them who created a bad impression on foreign workers. This story of Ban, who is willing to sacrifice himself to save somebody else’s life, proved the above statement to be true. Here is my little voice hoping to reach out to the employers to take care of the rights of these foreign workers.

Ming Lee Hong