May 02, 2007

Orang Bangla

Approximately 350,000 Bangladeshi labor migrants, locally known as "Orang Bangla", a derogatory slang, serve in Malaysia. Malaysia resumed manpower import from Bangladesh with the recruitment of some 50,000 skilled and unskilled workers starting late last year. Shortage of flights and various procedural flaws are hampering their transfer to Malaysia as per a Daily Star editorial.

So actually what the most of them do? They provide unskilled labor in manufacturing, construction, plantations and cleaning/manual labor works in the city. A study shows the problems they face:

1) Many workers are not paid for the extra hour they work.
2) Payment for Work Permit, Levy, and EPF: For work-permit and levy, each Bangladeshi worker has to pay between RM 2,300 to 3,000 a year. On the top of these, each has to pay 11 percent of their salaries to Employment Provident Fund (EPF). Paying all these as well other living costs in Malaysia leave them with a very little or no saving. Workers can claim their EPF money after their work tenure; however, as they reported, harsh rules, bureaucratic complexity and long procedures make it almost uncertain for them to get money.
3) Harassment by Police and Local Thugs: The fear of police and local thugs is very common among Bangladeshi workers. Despite having legal documents, some Bangladeshi workers complained, they face harassment from police.
4) Compensation and Treatment: Some Bangladeshi workers lost valuable parts of their bodies while working, but no compensation was given to them.

And the most crucial thing: estimates show that workers spend around 80% of their income in Malaysia, and thereby contribute to, and keep revitalizing, local economy.

According to the same study there are more than 30,000 Bangladeshi students studying in Malaysia, a great education market for Malaysian universities. More than a thousand Bangladeshis, applied for "The Malaysia My Second Home" program, and each candidate will deposit 3,000,000 Malaysian Ringgit (RM) to Malaysian government.

So you see these people are contributing a lot to the Malaysian economy and still face bullying and maltreatment from the local community.

A Malaysian Blogger explains:

"BANGLA, does that word mean anything to you? Or is it just something you shout to call that nameless guy from your toilet to scrape off that dried cow shit from underneath your car? Well for those who dont know shit, this blog explains the life of a Bangla."

Read the rest and you will understand.


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