Negative impression puzzles Bangladeshi workers

  • Nation
  • Friday, 19 Feb 2016

PETALING JAYA: The majority of Bangladeshis working here like the country but cannot understand why they are looked upon in a negative light by some locals.

One of them, Tamim, 26, works at an eatery in Section 17 here.

“I feel upset when some people look at me as if they do not like me. I am here to work and I have no bad intention,” said the waiter.

His wife, also a Bangladeshi, is here with him.

But he refused to say how much he is earning a month.

Over in Bangladesh a year back, he worked for a consultation firm.

He claimed he learnt a lot regarding Malaysia from the firm and managed to gather enough information to make his way here without a recruitment agent.

He did not want to divulge in the amount he spent, or what legal procedure he needed to get through to make it to Malaysia.

But Tamim said he would continue to work in the country and not let prejudices scare him away.

“I have also met good Malaysians who are friendly, they are nice,” he said.

Another Bangladeshi waiter, Ashik, 22, said the people he had met had been nice to him.

All he cared about was that he had friends in Malaysia.

“I have many friends. I have Malay, I have Chinese, I have Indian (friends),” he said.

Ashik has been here for 10 months. He claimed he wanted to come here to study for a diploma in computer science in a private college, but was cheated by his agent of RM15,000.

He is working and said that his wages go to fund his studies at another college.

Malaysian student Norain Abd Rashid, 20, said concerns raised in the media about the arrival of 1.5 million Bangladeshis did colour her opinion of the foreigners.

“When my friends and I walk around town, sometimes, the male foreign workers would stare hard at us. That makes us very cautious,” said the college student from Puchong.

Another student, Wong Qiu Ling, 19, also complained that male foreign workers tended to follow her with their stares especially when she took the LRT home to Cheras after classes in Kuala Lumpur.

“But they keep their distance and never come near me,” she said.

Student Sharidah Abd Aziz Khan, 19, from Segambut said knowing that another 1.5 million Bangla­deshis would be arriving here was “pretty scary”.

“It is important we all keep safe,” she said.

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Family & Community , misperception


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