This is for the eyes and ears and mouths of Aljazeera, for Malaysia's rotweilers and watchdogs of Human Rights, for our very own home-grown self-appointed and self-regarding crusaders in Malaysia's League of Human Justice like Captain Malaysia ( Branch Office in Penang), Kelawar Man and Murai (with Kelawar Kar awaiting the completion of Penang's Undersea Tunnel), Minah Hebat and Minah Kelawar (ubiquitous and merata rata in the cosmopolitan centres on the west coast of Semenanjung Malaysia). Or to simplify it, let's lump them all as the BHL or Bleeding Heart Liberals.
We are all concerned about the situation that Bangladeshi migrant workers - like all migrant workers - find themselves in. Often, it is a cruel situation. A situation of unfairness and exploitation. So let us find out from one who really should know (and thinks) about Bangladeshi migant workers.
Let us hear from the Prime Minister of Bangladesh.
Firstly, on 6 December 2014, the PM of Bangla Desh Sheikh Hasina had a "successful and effective" three-day visit to Malaysia.
I would like to ask Md Rayhan Kabir (the gentleman used by Aljazeera as the spokesperson for the benighted Banglas in Malaysia): do you agree and are you happy with your Government's description of you and your countrymen as part of Bangla Desh's export trade, as the export of the brawns and sweat (and despair) of your kinsmen?
As an export entry, your countrymen, according to Wiki .....
According to the World Bank, remittances from this export of manpower in 2016 were nearly $15 billion which accounted for about 9 per cent of Bangla Desh's GDP.
When you were "sick with worry" about how the Malaysian authorities were treating your 'friend' during the peak of the Covid 19 pandemic, did you stop to think about how you and your 'friend' would be treated (medically) if you, as an unskilled worker, remained in Dhaka, Chittagong or Sylhet? Can you see yourself haranguing your Government authorities (or perhaps calling up Aljazeera) for better treatment - especially since you and your friends contribute so much to the national coffers when you worked in Malaysia as legal or illegal foreign workers?
Here in Malaysia, we have some citizens who by virtue of paying Income Tax and contributing little/much (????) to the national Treasury (like you do in your country), are allowed to demand that members of the Malaysian Armed Forces who only "eat and sleep" should be put out to work in FELDA plantations! Some of them even question the validity of the Monarchy as enshrined in the Constitution.
We await with bated breath for Aljazeera's 101 East Team to investigate another blot on Malaysia's landscape. This team consists mostly of Aussies like Senior Reporter and producer Drew Ambrose, Executive Producer Sharon Roobol, Producer Jenni Robman, Digital Producer Rhionai-Jade Armont and cameraman Craig Hansen. Is that surprising? There is a long pedigree of Aussies who take it upon themselves to expose and pontificate on the ills and errors of Asian countries, especially Malaysia, notwithstanding their very own scabs on their chest (pekong di dada dan kuman di seberang) especially the abysmal mistreatment and discrimination of the Australian Aborigines.
The Aussies seem to have a fetish about denigrating Malaysia. I don't think many of our BHL know much about the problem of Vietnamese refugees on the east coast of Semenanjung Malaysia at the end of the Vietnam War in 1975.
See my previous postings :
All it takes to whip up a strong brew of bile and prejudice against an Asian nation is a bunch of Aussie cobbers by the billabong, cobbling up a mish mash of ignorance and bias in their billy cans. But I digress. I must confess (some) Australians and Australia leave AsH with a nasty taste in the mouth, especially their double standards with regards to the non-white nations of Southeast Asia.
In our part of the world, we tend to think (wrongly) of Bangla Desh as nothing but a poverty-stricken nation. But how biased can we be, especially when we remember that song 'Bangla Desh' by George Harrison, an eminent Beatle from the 60s? Bangla Desh (or originally East Bengal) has a sad history of wars, famines, natural disasters, and today a rising sea level (as a result of global warming) threatens to inundate villages and fields along the coastline. Not too long ago, during the Second World War, 2.1-3 million Bengalis, out of a population of 60.3 million died of starvation during the Bengal Famine of 1943. If Md Rayhan Kabir thinks his people are badly treated in Malaysia, here is what Sir Winston Churchill (much admired strangely enough in India, Bangla Desh and at one time Brunei as well) thinks about his forefathers, the almost 3 million Bengalis who died of starvation.
We can happily say that 77 years after the Bengal Famine, Bangla Desh has moved on. It has, like Malaysia, a burgeoning middle class. (See video below)
Perhaps concerned and unhappy Banglas like Md Rayhan Kabir should turn to the middle class in his own country to connect with our middle class liberals to set up a united front to defend the cause and human rights of "suffering foreign workers" in Malaysia. They could draw up a working agenda to co-ordinate the conditions and regulations concerning these foreign workers. Md Rayman Kabir and friends (not just his fellow kinsmen)could perhaps begin with cases like corruption and exploitation by Bangla Desh's consular officials in Kuala Lumpur who, according to Wiki overcharged Bangla workers by RM 200-300 for their passport renewal.
They managed to appropriate RM 10-15 million. And a valid passport as we know, is crucial for documentation of their legal status.
So what degree of culpability has Malaysia got to bear over the situation of foreign workers (not foreign immigrants), whether they are PATI or legal during this Covid 19 pandemic that is tearing apart the world's economic and social infrastructure on a global scale. Are any other nations like Singapore, Burma, USA, UK, the EC, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, India, Russia, China doing it any better to meet up with the Gold Standard Ratings drawn up by the bleeding heart liberals in Malaysia? If our Aussie crusaders wanted to, they could produce a score or more similar videos which demonstrate the "inhumanity" of the policies of their fellow-Caucasians in comparison to what dastardly Malaysia is doing - with reference to foreign -migrant workers and foreigners.
Where does the buck stop?
Well, here's the Prime Minister of Bangladesh once more.
Secondly, on 25 May 2015, PM Sheikh Hasina denounced the country's migrants as "Mentally Sick".
According to Md Rayhan's PM ...
If that's the case why is Malaysia, and especially Malaysia still facing a flood of illegal foreign workers from Bangla Desh?
In New York, there is a plaque on the Statue of Liberty which reads ...
Malaysia, when it was still Semenanjung Tanah Melayu, had this ''greatness" thrusted upon them when our British overlords required cheap foreign labour from India and China. The Malays, like other natives whose territory was "founded" by Christian Western nations had no say and no choice -they are now living and managing and coping with all the trials, tribulations and challenges of having a mult-racial population foisted upon them.
For most larger and richer nations, they have the room to take in such "huddled masses". The USA especially under Trump has reneged on this proud heritage of America and Americans. China, India (under Modi, Muslims are not welcomed), Japan, Australia, New Zealand, the EC and UK have no room for the "tired and the poor" except for those who are professionals (educated in their own country) and wealthy (with wealth derived from their country of origin). With regards to Rohingyas and Bangla Deshis who flock to Malaysia, they are out of the equation altogether.
As for Malaysia - supposedly a nation of racists, full of Malay-Muslim extremists and fanatics who have no respect for the Human Rights of the populace and impose gross inequality on the minorities (translate that as non-Malays) who end up as victims of discrimination and treated like the "huddled masses yearning to breathe free" - we are expected to be whiter than white and as pure as the driven snow according to the demands of the Human Rights Confederacy.
If we are so despicable, why are our shores a favourite landing spot for Burma's "refuse of your teeming shore" and the "helpless tempest tost" of Bangla Desh?? We have no "lamp beside the golden door". We have our own poor and needy to look after. We do not farm them out as human exports to foreign fields so that they can remit their wages to support their families at home. But we do have a different calibre of human exports, with one difference. They consist of our educated and well-heeled who for the most part do not have to support impoverished families at home. Instead they, especially those residing in Australia, have the privilege if they so wish, to slag off their ex-country in the hope of gaining more kudos and looking more presentable and acceptable in their new country.
So why oh why are we still being crucified .... by Aljazeera, by the liberal Western press, and by social media both home grown and foreign?