Deaths at construction site highlight plight of migrant workers

Gabrielle Chong

 from:Malaysiakini

irene fernandez interview 251108 08The problems facing migrant workers have been brought to the forefront again following the gruesome death of two Bangladeshi workers at a construction site in Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur, last Sunday.

 

The two Bangladeshi workers were crushed to death by a ton of concrete bricks that fell from the 22nd floor of the almost-completed UOA Bangsar Tower after a crane cable snapped. The site is just a stone’s throw away from Malaysiakini office in Bangsar Utama.

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Contemplating the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

By:Alice Nah

All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

Everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration can be fully realised.

The truth is that human beings are still suffering from warfare, poverty, torture, and violations of their freedoms and dignity.

We have_

migrant workers whose work permits get cancelled when they complain of unpaid wages — they have no effective means of obtaining redress, because they are considered “illegal” and are subject to arrest, detention and deportation before the courts make decisions on their cases.

We have _

  1. refugees who are whipped for immigration offences,
  2. stateless people who spend years in detention in squalid conditions,
  3. and children who are sentenced to indefinite incarceration.

How do we make sense of these realities in society?

How do we judge if these are morally and legally right? How to do we set limits on the treatment of our fellow men and women, regardless of their background?

This is the purpose of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights — to guide our actions and decisions so that we respect the fundamental human dignity of one another no matter what our differences.

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Early migrants, “Foreigners the bane of neighbours”

THE POT CALLING THE KETTLE BLACK?

 

EARLY MIGRANTS HATE THE NEW COMERS?

Foreigners the bane of neighbours

From ANOTHER WORRIED RESIDENT of Kuala Lumpur: I REFER to Worried Resident’s letter on “Disgusted by behaviour of foreign workers,” (The Star, Nov 9).

….Since then, we have had to put up with workers bathing, brushing teeth and washing their laundry in front of the house every day………..

Then both of you and the STAR editors who think it is fit to bash up poor foreign workers should all go back to INDIA, CHINA OR INDONESIA where your ancestors came. Because according to your logic and anti-foreigner concepts, your ancestors SHOULD ALSO SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED TO COME HERE, because all first generation migrants who are not professional migrants are dirty, doing dangerous and non-dignified low pay jobs that the locals shun.

ACTUALLY ALMOST THE WHOLE POPULATION OF SINGAPORE ARE MIGRANTS BUT THEY ALL ARE ARROGANT ON NEW COMERS. BUT MOST OF THEM ARE COWARDS/EUNUCHS AND DARE NOT EVEN SAY ANYTHING ABOUT THE LEE DYNASTY. BUT THEY WILL BULLY OTHERS EVERYWHERE, IN THE CYBERSPACE OR EVEN IN WIKI. 

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REAL protection of rights in Malaysian law will end abuse of workers

REAL protection of rights in Malaysian law will end abuse of workers

CHARLES HECTOR , Friday, September 05, 2008

There are 2.2 million foreign migrant workers in Malaysia today, and our government again and again talks about reducing the number of migrant workers….but alas, it is just talk.

Every year, we have this large scale crack-downs and deportations – and then we have the employers here and there talking about labour shortages – and the doors are re-opened for more foreign migrant workers to again re-enter the country.

The arrest and deportation exercise, I believe, is to appease the local Malaysian people. So much of our money is wasted.

If only, the employers, and not the poor workers, were targeted – not only would money be saved but also the employment problems may be resolved.

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Chikungunya fever

Chikungunya fever

Chikungunya

 

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Aedes aegypti mosquito biting human flesh.Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) is an insect-borne virus, of the genus, Alphavirus, that is transmitted to humans by virus-carrying Aedes mosquitoes.[1] There have been recent outbreaks of CHIKV associated with severe morbidity. CHIKV causes an illness with symptoms similar to dengue fever. CHIKV manifests itself with a prolonged arthralgic disease that affects the joints of the extremities. The acute febrile phase of the illness lasts only two to five days. The pain associated with CHIKV infection of the joints persists for weeks or months.[2][3]

Treatment

There are no specific treatments for Chikungunya. There is no vaccine currently available. A Phase II vaccine trial, sponsored by the US Government and published in the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene in 2000, used a live, attenuated virus, developing viral resistance in 98% of those tested after 28 days and 85% still showed resistance after one year.[10]

A serological test for Chikungunya is available from the University of Malaya in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Chloroquine is gaining ground as a possible treatment for the symptoms associated with chikungunya, and as an antiviral agent to combat the Chikungunya virus. A University of Malaya study found that for arthritis-like symptoms that are not relieved by aspirin and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID), chloroquine phosphate (250 mg/day) has given promising results.[11]

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Day dreaming again? Gov’t to halve foreign workers by 2010

Day dreaming again? 

Or just show-off the antiforeigner policy to please the citizens? 

Gov’t to halve foreign workers by 2010

Malaysiakini news Jun 6, 08

The government plans to almost halve the number of foreigners working in the plantation and manufacturing sectors in two years by reducing its yearly foreign intake by 400,000.

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Care Latte with the Home Minister of Malaysia:

Care Latte with the Home Minister:

Homing in on Home issues

www.wongchunwai.com

 

 

Extracts only. Sunday, 20 April 2008  

Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar is responsible for one of the most important, if not powerful, ministries in the Cabinet. Speaking to The Star’s Group Chief Editor, he talked about his tasks from heading law enforcement agencies to deciding on the role of the media, his upcoming plans for the ministry, Umno, and the country’s political outlook.

What are your plans for the Home Ministry?

Syed Hamid: The Home Ministry is the second biggest with a staff of 159,000.

  • Now we are more open to public scrutiny.
  • This is a challenging and interesting ministry and it’s close to the people’s hearts.

If you talk on matters of_

  • immigration, visas, passports,
  • the National Registration Department,
  • permanent residence
  • and citizenship status,

all are in the limelight. Continue reading

AI report:Migrant workers, refugees and asylum-seekers

 

Malaysia

Migrant workers, refugees and asylum-seekers

  1. Mass arrests of migrant workers, refugees and asylum-seekers by the People’s Volunteer Corps (Rela) continued.
  2. According to a government news agency, 24,770 migrants had been detained by Rela as of August 2007.
  3. Rela officials continued to be accused of using excessive force and arbitrary detention when conducting raids.
  4. Migrant workers were also subjected to psychological and physical abuse by agencies and employers.
  5. They were often denied equal access to benefits and protections guaranteed to Malaysian workers, including maternity provisions, limits on working hours and holidays.

Cruel, inhuman and degrading punishments

Caning continued to be used for many offences, including immigration offences. Irregular migrants (those lacking proper documentation) and refugees were reported to have received canings. Continue reading

Malaysia’s Selangor State wants to exploit migrants?

Selangor wants to exploit migrants?

From the Susan Loone’s blog, complete with comments there.

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Khalid Ibrahim, the newly minted Selangor chief minister wants companies with migrant workers to pay RM9 each so that the money can fund training courses for unemployed persons.

It’s a silly policy, short-sighted and shows lack of human compassion for the workers involved. Khalid cannot just shoot off crap from his mouth as he likes. Suggestions like this involve policy changes. Policies should not be changed according to the whims and fancies of whoever is in power.

First of all, the companies involved are not going to pay this amount from their pocktes. They’ll deduct it from the migrants’ salaries, which is already chicken feed.  These employers spend more on food, accesories and health care for their pet dogs and cats, you can be sure. 

Khalid, in all his mightiness, as ex-Guthrie CEO or current menteri besar, I am afraid, can’t do a thing to stop towkays and bosses from exploiting their workers further in this way. And what does it say about Selangor, the new and riches Opposition state?

 

Secondly, what has the migrants got to do with unemployed persons? Why must they be made to pay for our unemployment problems?

The very fact that migrants are at work, though miserably paid, shows that we have job opportunities. But why are they still many, many unemployed people in Malaysia?

It’s not that locals do not want to do the kind of jobs that migrants currently do. Employers prefer migrants because they can be easily exploited, and abused. Everyone makes money when a migrant comes to work in this country. From agents to employers,  government official, airline companies, doctors, house owners, everyone! Except the migrant themselves.

And…

It’s not that the migrants have deprived the locals of their jobs, that’s lazy thinking. But its the government policies, employers and agents, who work in cohorts, to make sure they make the most profits, leaving locals with less opportunity for jobs. It’s a vicious cycle, I know. But that’s the reality.

If unemployment is the main issue, there are other ways to takle it. Make Malaysia more conducive for investment, for one. Secondly, require employers to hire more locals, make it a policy. Improve the education system. These are long term policies, but worth investing in.

The education system sucks that students are not prepared for life skills when they finish school. All the education ministry wants to do is make sure that students dont get involved in politics. Well, do you think they can choose what’s best for their lives, if they can’t even be allowed to think about what kind of country they want, or which leaders to govern it?

Khalid’s putting his wrong foot into this. Has he met with migrant workers or those working on migrant issues yet or even the unemployed to know what the main problem is? Consultation is the key. Or else, you are no different from your BN/UMNO predecessors.

Perhaps, I am saying this too soon. To me, one thing has become crystal clear. It seems pointless to have so many social/ NGO activists in government, if none of them can influence policies.

20 Responses to “Selangor wants to exploit migrants?”

  1. tzarina Says:
    March 27, 2008 at 6:41 pm

    Correct.

    I also blogged on a related issue yday…on the fact that our private sector workers and plantation workers do not have a decent minimum wage…at this moment, a loose definition of min wage is applied…and its rm350! Companies like Guthrie, Sime Darby and most sweat shops that we call factories are blood suckers. We need to control immigration, have better labor laws and improve in our own local economy so that we become less dependent on foreign investments, who are currently holding our economy by its balls!

    My take:
    http://orangewaves.blogspot.com/2008/03/minimum-wage-rm350-is-this-joke.html

  2. Well said Susan. It`s an idiotic idea.
    Khalid is basing it on his experience in the plantation sector where immigrant workers stay on the estates itself. It`s very different elsewhere – as you rightfully point out.

  3. The righteous man Says:
    March 27, 2008 at 7:37 pm

    It is a good move by Khalid. It’s not so much penalising the migrant workers but more so companies that have become hooked on cheap labour. Khalid must find a way to ensure the levy does not come from the pockets of the workers but rather from the companies.
    Something has to be done to raise salaries and get Malaysians interested in jobs that are now being incresingly taken over by foreign labour.

  4. silly mistake, Khalid!
    the Selangor new MB is stupid enuf for not realise that the labour issues fall under the Federal jurisdiction. unless, u have the majority in Parliament to be able to implement this policy. LoL!

  5. Right you are, Susan
    The new MB should not bring more miseries to migrant workers as thet are already harassed enough under BN laws and bad policies.
    He should institute a minimum wage for them instead.

  6. sloone,u may have a point there,let me tell my story with foreign workers and the hassle i had to go throu with federal goverment.firstly i am running a small company specialising with elite group of customer.for many years i keep on trying to get locals to work for me,but the youngters just refuse to learn my trade.i have to anwser to my customer if the job not done according to specification and time frame.the last resort i had to get foreign workers.just to bring in 2 skill workers,i had begg kdn for approval,but fails.this business my rice bowl.backdoor approval cost me $4k.agent and levy for 2 workers 10k.the workers is paid monthly salary of $1500.00.No deduction on their levy.house rental for them 600.00.am i crazy to pay foreign worker all in 2500 amonth.THE PROBLEM IS A LOT OF HIDDEN COST INVOLVE IN HIRING FOREIGN WORKERS.If I PAY PEANUT I GET MONKEY,THE PROBLEM OF FEDERAL GOVERMENT THEY DONT SUPPORT HIGHLY SKILL FOREIGN WORKER FOR SMALL COMPANY LIKE ME,BUT THEY CAN ISSUE THOUSANDS OF PERMITS TO OUTSOURCE COMPANY AND ABUSE THE FOREIGN WORKERs AND SMALL COMPANY LIKE ME.INFACT THE LOCAL PR INDONESIAN I PAY $100.00 PERDAY BUT AFTER SOME TIMES THEY THINK THEY ARE THE BOS.THEY WANT SUB CONTRACT MY JOB TO THEM AND I BECOMES THEIR BROKER TO FIND JOB.BUT THE BIG COMPANY WILL PAY THEM PEANUT AND ABUSE THEM.WHY ARE THE ILLEGAL WORKERS AROUND?ITS DUE TO THE BIG COMPANY HIIRE THEM.SMALL COMPANY DARE NOT TO HIRE ILLEGAL WORKERS BECAUSE POLICE HARRASSMENT.MOST OF MY JOB IN GATED COMMUNITY.I NEED LEGAL WORKERS,BUT I PAY THROU MY ASS TO GET THEM.JUST LAST YEAR I TURN DOWN ALMOST 100K PROFIT JUST BECAUSE I CANT GET WORKERS WHO IS SKILL ENOUGH TO FOLLOWS MY INSTRUCTION.MOST OF MY WORK ON REFFERAL BASIS AND I NEED TO PERFORM.MY WAITING LIST LAST YEAR FOR PEOPLE TO EMPLOY ME IS 6MONTHS.VERY2 STRESSFULL .ITS LIKE A TAXI DRIVER,THEY DO THE HARD WORK BUT THE PERMITS OF TAXI HOLD BY CRONIES OF POLITICIAN.FINALLY THE COUNTRY PAYING THE HIDDEN COST.thanks sloone.raj raman.still dreaming become malaysiaputra or i think better become a politician to earn back door money.BELIEVE IT OR NOT my country is corrupt from private sector to goverment.JUST STUDY HOW THE SINGAPORE GOVERMENT ISSUE PERMITS TO FORREIGN WORKERS.AS LONG YOU CAN PROOF YOU NEED WORKERS AND YOU GOT JOB TO PAY THE LEVY,ITS DONE.NO HIDDEN COST.

  7. well said susan!

    the tan sri is starting to show the quality of our GLCs CEOs -)

  8. You are reacting too soon. The bringing in of foreign workers is big business and the middle man makes tons of money at the expense of the workers and the companies that employ them.

    Policies regarding foreign labour are made at federal and not at state level. All Khalid can do is work at state level and introduce measures that will discourage companies from employing foreign workers. If locals do not want to work at factory level then it is a sign that we must start moving away from labour intensive industries to up-market ones that require less labour. This is part of the change that must be made as we move to become a developed country.

    Unless one has a complete grasp of the situation it is immature and unjust to start spewing condemning criticisms.

  9. Erm yeah, Eli is on the EXCO yar….she should have wide experience dealing with the rights of foreigners.

  10. sloone,please give some times for the new mb.for the last 50 years bn rule this country and created a mess.this new mb might not have the grip on the running of goverment.just give him time.them if he fails,we attack him.have mercy for new comer.everybody must be given a chance,he didnt demolish,offend any races.he need some moral support.we just cant keep on attack a new mb.its takes time to be a politician.whether good mb or bad mb.time will decide.wait until then.A HUMBLE REQUEST FROM ME TO ALL BLOGGERS.i not is cronies or i know him personaly.all the new 4 state mb need some breathing space for them.alot of files missing,alot of hanky panky by previous bn.its will take some times for them to perform.meanwhile just watch them like hawk from above,dont attack.they will panic and create more blundered due to the pressure.

  11. Excellent piece Susan

    already the foreign worker’s salaries are normally reduced or chopped in some invisible and invincible ways by the ruthless employers where the Industrial Relations Department will take years to negotiate.The poor workers will either be stuck in the oppression or return home prior to their term and the pitiless brokers will care less for them.

    And now this. Khalid seriously needs to get to the ground before making wrong statements that the BN will start to be abusive before the new government gets a chance to prove itself

  12. Penang Exile Says:
    March 27, 2008 at 10:09 pm

    I wonder whether MB Khalid has been misquoted by the BN loyalist press?

  13. Well said Susan. Migrant workers are human too. They work hard and deserve every penny they earned. Why penalised them further?

    I was one of those overseas student in Australia in the 80s who worked the shit out of every summer vacation and during weekend of school terms just to save enough for my school fees plus living expenses. I put up at least 16 hours works every day during summer vacation like a migrant worker since my parent can’t afford and no helps from our Goverment. I have never regreted and managed to complete my degree with flying colours and within the shortest period of time in 5 years duration at the University of Melbourne.

    Why countries like America, Australia & Canada cherish their migrant workers, while we the racist Malaysian(including Tan Sri Khalid ibrahim) must take every oppurtunities to penalised our migrant workers. Eihter our Tan Sri has a loose mouth trying to score points or is he just ignorant to know that the mighty America, Australia & Canada were once built by migrant workers?

    Please stop this racist crap. Treat our migrant worker more humanely

  14. slone,i just need a favour,my email raj-raman@hotmail.com also being used by somebody.whenever i log in to kit or other bloggers,the message says somebody registered using my email.i not a computer savy.infact i hate paper work and computer.just 3 months ago i got registed my email due to hindraf factor.my business web site also doesnt have email due to i not bothered about replying to my customer.i communicate by phone.so how come someone can have the same email as mine?i only use my email for bloggers like u,anil and haris.others seldom or i cant register with them due to someone using my same email.is it possible?thanks.raj raman.hope you help me.u r the expect and someone have cloned your blogs.same boat,different problem.

  15. Khalib Ibrahim is just a liability to Malaysia! Khalib is using the out-of-date managing plantation system which is beneficial to the directors and not the plantation workers or staffs.

    Managing an ‘advanced state’ like Selangor is a different ball-game and therefore we need a different game plan. Kahlib was only an ‘estate player’ when he was in the plantation. Now he has promoted to a state player but still only qualified as an ‘estate player.’

    Can an estate player compete with a state player? Looking at the score-line:

    Selangor state : 6 Oil Palm Plantation : 1

    Therefore it’s a disaster for an ‘estate player’ to assume the role of a ’state player’.

    If you have in doubt on the above analogy, why not we have a match between the Selangor state team pitting against an Oil Palm Plantation team literally?

    If Khalib couldn’t even helm an estate plantation team profitably and effectively, do you think Khalib could helm a ’state team’ and maintain it at ’state level’, let alone at SEA/ Asia/ Olympic/ World level?

    Looking the the quality of the state councilors in the various states, we know that it’s a gone case for the various states.

    Have the Malaysians in Semenanjung had any confidence with the state or federal levels?

    Why did all these politicians get involved in politics in the first place? Are they like the late Mother Theresa who was really dedicated to humankind? Or like our dear Susan Loone who put service before self?

    The notion is that once a politician got into a plausible position in politics he/she would get whatever he/she could during their tenure ala Khir Toyo and clique.

    Why did the new state executive council refuse to declare their assets? What they have got to hide? Unless they have blended into a new corrupt team replacing the previous regime with another new rotten-to-the-core state system.

    The politicians are crook. Otherwise there will not be so many dynasties all over the parties all over the states.

    Can Theresa Kok be like the late Mother Theresa? For a few years perhaps. Then either she also corrupts or will be booted out by the warlords/ eunuchs in her parties! Why did Fong Poh Kuan resort to threatening to resign before the 12th GE? And that Ding Dong bell in Bahau? The previous three Musketeers and so on….? Politics is a filthy game (highest level) in Malaysia.

    Politicians in Malaysia are just thieves and robbers stealing/ plundering the assets of Malaysia/ Malaysians.

    They are real liabilities to the people of Malaysia. They make Malaysia bankrupt but paradoxically they make themselves super/ hyper rich.

    For example, a money making system for Khalib and clique:

    Levy on legal/ illegal migrant worker : RM 9 per head.

    Total amount of revenue collected from legal/ illegal migrant workers: 1.5 million x 9= RM 13.5 millions / month.

    Total amount accrued from the poor/ miserable legal/ illegal migrant workers per year = RM147 millions.

    Wow! Sure this Khalid knows how to make money for himself the crooked way. He is learning fast and is as good as Kill Toyo!

    Sure in due time Khalib and clique’s assets are catching up with the likes of Mahathir, Daim, Tengkuku Razali, Kill Toya, Ghafa Baba (destination not determined)”’ etc.

    No wonder Khalib has no ba** to reveal his assets!

  16. I think you guys just jump to conclusion too soon. I rather think the idea is worth looking into. Below is the extract of the interview by Malaysiakini with the MB. I don’t think he is been unfair.

    “M : What are your short-term and long term goals for Selangor?

    K: Selangor has got opportunities as much as challenges. One of the challenges is how to accommodate the growth in population. In Selangor and Federal Territory, the Malaysian population is around five million, while the total number of people is about eight million. At least 1.5 million of these people are foreign labourers.

    They bring in economic resources to the state as well as social issues. I thought that over the years, if Selangor is to progress, we have to find ways and means to reduce our dependence on foreign labour. That is one of our objectives.

    To solve that, I think we should also tackle the issue of employment among youth – those between the ages of 22 and 35. I want to make sure that all the youth in Selangor are eventually fully employed. What I want to do is to have a skills training programme to enhance the quality of the youth so that they can work in higher-income areas and be, for example, artisans such as specialised welders.

    Young ladies can train to become nurses, dental assistants, or work as assistants in surgery rooms, for example. Young men could become audio and computer specialists, and move from low-skilled jobs to higher skilled jobs.

    After two to three years in our programme, our target is for these youth to earn at least RM2,000 a month. If that happens, and say there were 500,000 youths in this programme, we would have reduced the income gap while at the same time create more consumer demand.

    How will I fund this project? If we have about 1.5 million foreign workers, I would like to propose that our employers in Selangor who hire foreign workers allocate RM9 a month per foreign worker. This money would go towards helping to train the youths. RM9 a month is equivalent to about RM100 a year. If there are 1.5 million foreign workers, I will be accumulating RM150 million which serves the purpose of funding for the training.

    I don’t think the employers will grumble too much, because they are investing in the future of the state. Due to the decreased dependence on foreign labour, there will be less crimes, less social problems, less dependency on facilities and medical, and so on. That is the tradeoff between the two. If I can do that, then I can move Selangor into the future.

    M : So you’re trying to reduce the dependency on foreign workers.

    K : We need to. It may not be so in the short-term, but it should work in the medium term. I do not think Malaysia can afford such dependency for long. Foreign labour imposes demands on our infrastructure and other facilities such as medical treatment, schooling for their children, and so on.

    M : Foreign labourers are causing these demands?

    K : Yeah. People would say I’m unfair and discriminatory in this regard. We like foreign labour to live and work with us, but we also want to develop our own home-grown capacity.”

  17. Chan Choon Kit Says:
    March 27, 2008 at 11:03 pm

    To start with, it’s Khalid Ibrahim, not Khalib!

    I believe many posters here are too premature in criticizing Khalid. His proposal of RM9 levy makes good economic sense, never mind if the humane bit of it is compromised a little. Ask any economist on how to control influx of goods, they will tell you to impose extraneous charges. It is then merely a question of how much, how soon, implementation strategy, pecuniary costs versus benefits accrued, etc.

    Furtherelse, I do see a lot of good signs from Khalid ever since he took charge. His take on the Councillors’ bungalows (prefering to rent out to high-flying CEOs and bring in revenue rather than demolishing them) and even his latest vision of a squatter-free Selangor albeit with a more humane approach (again this is implementation strategy) speaks volumes of the passion he has for Selangor. And now, Khalid has instructed Ronnie Liu to look into the hillside development of Bukit Antarabangsa more closely and perhaps stop such developments. Khalid truly has moved on since he took over, don’t the rest of you agree?

    He’s even made more sense as a leader than even the Cabinet Ministers since they took office. And look what stupid things those Ministers have come up with? One said the water agreement is valid although we know a caretaker government can’t be allowed to enter into contract. Another Minister (the one who likes to wield the keris) has ‘quietly’ issued an edict that no leader from those 5 states are welcome into any school functions. Imagine these are indeed the very first concrete words/actions from BN ministers!

    Here we have Khalid performing at a reasonably good speed that a leader should be instead of concentrating on petty stuff. I don’t see the other BN minsters proposing on how to solve the migrant workers issue — so far only talk and more talk! And I also don’t see how the other posters here who were quick to condemn Khalid are giving good recommendations on solving this issue as well. Instituting a minimum wage is perhaps the best suggestion I’ve read so far, but we know that is not something any state administration can act on. So, Susan and other posters, please hold your stance and let Khalid work out a solution. Perhaps some solutions may have leaky holes, but Khalid and Exco will stitch it back.

  18. RM$9 lecy isn’t that much, other countries higher than suggested by Khalid
    & THE RM$9 must be on employers not the workers

    There are solution to get the job done, think out of the box
    Don’t be too emotional

  19. Susan,

    Your concern seems to be that the foreign workers will be exploited by this proposed levy; rather than whether the proposed use of the proceeds will work.

    Well, what makes you so sure that the levy will be deducted from the workers? You seem to have made up your mind that this will happen. Because of this, you then claim “Why must they (ie the foreign workers) be made to pay for our unemployment problems?”

    You then claim, “Everyone makes money when a migrant comes to work in this country. From agents to employers, government official, airline companies, doctors, house owners, everyone! Except the migrant themselves.” How can this be true? As lowly paid as these migrant workers are – they must be better off than in their home country. Otherwise why would they come? It makes no sense !

  20. Maybe he can convince the federal government to implement policies that make employer pay for that? I think it is too soon to judge now. What he wanted to do may be good for the state, but their credibility requires transparency (like where the money is going to go). For sure, it will not be easy and there will be objections from a lot of businessmen.

What an utter disgrace!

What an utter disgrace!

KAREN,   Selangor. Letter to the Star

WE saw three Bangladeshis, in their early 20s, standing at our front gate. One was holding a rubbish bin trying to protect himself while the other two asked us for help because some boys were chasing and throwing stones at them and blocking their path. 

My parents asked if they had done anything to the boys to receive such treatment but the three, almost in tears, said all they did was to go to the night market near my home to buy some food. The boys had followed and harassed them.  

The poor foreigners also grabbed the rubbish bins in front of my house to shield themselves. 

My parents and my brother followed them to the corner of the street and saw a group of boys, who upon seeing them just laughed and ran away when my parents called them.  

My parents then watched the three men walk home to their quarters.  

It was a pitiful sight. We were upset with the actions of the boys.  

Is these how human beings deserve to be treated? 

Don’t they too have feelings and dignity?  

These are basic human rights. Just because they are foreigners does not mean that they can be bullied and no one would come to their aid.  

We are easily influenced by all the stereotypes of the world and become prejudiced and judgmental when encountering foreigners like Indonesians, Bangladeshis, Indians or Africans.  

One of my friends told me her Nigerian college mate said that when he travelled to college by bus, no one would sit beside him, even if the bus was full. 

He said some Malaysians gave him suspicious looks as though he was up to no good. Sometimes, they would close their noses and mouths when he stood near.  

We are known as a friendly and warm people but is this perception really true?  

The time has come for everyone to learn to respect and treat one another with love regardless of race, religion or nationality.  

“Treat others as you would like to be treated”  

That is the golden rule of life that is to be found in the holy books of the major faiths – phrased differently but all with the same message. 

KAREN,  

Selangor.