Foreign workers form a large proportion of Malaysian blue-collar workers, whose contributions often go unnoticed. Many of them come to Malaysia hoping for better opportunities and to support their families back home, but in the process, they definitely face a lot of struggles adjusting to life in a different country.
Foreign workers deserve to be treated with the same dignity as any other Malaysian would be treated, and if more of us were aware of the sacrifices they made just to be here, more people would treat them with the kindness they deserve.
This post that was recently published by Humans of Kuala Lumpur, which highlighted the story of a worker from Bangladesh, sheds light on the reality many foreign workers in Malaysia face on a daily basis.
70-year-old Abu Bakar, who works as a cleaner at the Klang Parade shopping mall, shared his story with the social media page. He told Humans of KL,
“I left my homeland Bangladesh 27 years ago when my fifth child was just 6 months old. I haven’t returned since. I miss my family and they miss me too. But this is for them. All of this is for their future.”
Abu Bakar explained that he came to Malaysia for job opportunities, and was willing to do jobs no one else was willing to do. In the past 27 years, he has never taken a day off or called in sick. He has also been sending most of the money he earns to his family back home.
“I wake up, I bathe, I have my breakfast, I go to work, I come back, I talk to my family back home over the phone, I rest and it’s the same thing the next day, and the day after that. I have made some good friends here, too.”
“One of my daughters is now a judge, another is a doctor and my son is an engineer. I’m thankful for what they have achieved.”
The dedicated father was also delighted to share that after 27 years in Malaysia, he can now finally return to Bangladesh and reunite with his family.
“This December I will be going home for good and finally see my family again. It will be the first time I’ll see my two grandchildren too. I can hardly wait.”
We appreciate Abu Bakar and every foreign worker who sacrificed a lot to be here. Your hard work helped get our country to where it is today and for that, we’re grateful!
Tara Thiagarajan wrote the story for World of Buzz