When I started this blog, I thought this was a good avenue to chronicle my "journey" through life, a place where I write my memories, thoughts, and feelings. Of course, I can write all the happy memories which I acquire, such as my travels, the food that I eat, places that I go,etc...........But I realize that is not the reason I started writing, I wanted to share my thoughts, sentiments, feelings, be it good or bad with people because they are all under the term "memories" right?
The reason I am writing this post today is the fact that I read in the Star(Malaysian English newspaper) about how the foreign workers employed to build the new Istana Negara was treated. These foreign workes employed from other countries,i.e., Vietnam, Bangladesh, Indonesia, etc. are literally treated(or what I called tortured) like SLAVES. I was astonished that we as a developing country, working towards the status of a "first world country" is sometimes so backward in our thinking when protecting human rights. Many of these workers do not get paid for months which leaves them NO MONEY TO EAT!!!!!! They work seven days a week, and I am sure more than 8 hours a day, and they can barely eat one meal a day, and some even have babies to feed. I just wonder sometimes......Who are these inhumane 130 SUB-CONTRACTORS?????? Do they have no heart, compassion or even the decency to rationalize that these workers are also humans?? They have rights too, just like everyone of us................
The sad part of this true story/report is that our country has no proper laws/unions to protect the rights of these workers! To tell you the truth, I was surprise when I was in the U.S., that almost every profession has a union, from doctors to a hotel concierge, they have someone to voice out their woes for them. Quoting this from the Star " The Star, responding to an SOS call, visited the site in Jalan Duta and found workers living in frustration and fear as many do not have work permits or cannot afford to renew their permits which have expired". Can you imagine working hard in a foreign country because you have to make money to send back to their families, and yet feeling afraid at the same time, and frustrated because they cannot voice out the injustice dealt on them????? It's like putting a mice in a box without food, water, or a way out.
The story gets even better, the policemen actually raid these makeshift houses(with poor living conditions), and confiscate what little they have...cellphones, cigarrettes, and even canned drinks? Shouldn't the policemen go and raid these 130 subcontractors instead? And throw them in jail for treating other humans like that???? I've thought long and hard before I actually wrote this post, but I realized that if these foreign workers do not have a voice..the least i can do as a FELLOW HUMAN BEING is to voice my frustrations on how they are treated! I regretted previously how I read in the Star about a year ago on how maids are treated in Malaysia, them being abused by their employers,etc. and did not write about it. Untill now, I cringe when I see people bringing their maids out to restaurants and eating by themselves and NOT GIVING FOOD TO THEIR MAIDS! How can they do that???? If you don't intend to have dinner with your maid, then don't bring them out, why bring them out and torture them by letting them look at you eat your "GOOD" food?? To me, that is pure insensitive and selfish! Untill these people's mentality changes, can Malaysia, as a country progress towards being a first world nation.
If I have my way, I wish I can find these 130 sub-contractors and give them a taste of their own medicine, so they would know how torturing it feels, not getting paid, living in fear, working endless hours, and starving! But, I can't do that as I am just one person. All I can do is write this and hope to create awareness by spreading the message across to other people, and hope that other employers will not do this, and also ultimately, the sub-contractors involved in this project can read this...........
If you agree with me, please leave a comment, post this link on your facebook/msn, and help spread the word on the injustice that is happening in Jalan Duta, Malaysia.
The link to the original article is: http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2010/6/27/nation/6557795&sec=nation