Sunday, March 26, 2006

Of Foreign Workers...

I saw a scene yesterday when I was on my way back from Malacca. There's this father with his 2 children and a maid, they were on their way to their car and were getting into it. The dad asked the girl, who was about just 6 or 7 I guess, to sit at the back with the maid, and the girl struggled and refused, almost to the point of crying.

At that time I wonder: is this happening in other places? Children, or sometimes adults, who refused to sit with their Indon maids because of their skin colour and because they are "different than us"?

Define "different".

Is it their skin colour? Nationality? Personality?

From my observation -- and I believe many will share this observation -- it seems that we're very wary of foreign workers (particularly the construction workers) in our country roaming around the city, afraid that they wil mug us, molest us, rob us, murder us...we seem to be afraid of them, but why?

Here's how I see it:

We're short of workers in the building and construction sector. No one is willing to work under the hot sun for small bloody pay. We Malaysians are too proud for that. We only wanna do business, earn lots of money, feed ourselves and our need to buy and spend otherwise unnecessary items.... (I'm not saying ALL of us, just the majority...)

So without any choice, we import foreign workers to work for us. Build houses. Construct buildings. Do whatever menial jobs that Malaysians not willing to do.

But we despise them, even LOOK DOWN on them, because of their rugged appearance -- the very people who built those fancy bungalows so we can live comfortably while they stay in rumah setinggan because the bloddy agency who represent them doesn't pay them enough or provide a decent hostel.

If ur in a foreign country, being stared and looked down and treated like shit, will u feel strange? Will u feel angry? If these feelings isn't well controlled and u have no where to let the heat out, what will u do?

U mug.

U molest.

U rob.

U even kill.

Thus this is where our gejala sosial come from. People come here, work for us, we treat them like shit, they buay song, do bad things to us. U have to wonder whether we ourselves are the cause of all this.

Of course, not all Malaysians treat foreign workers like shit. I wouldn't like to think that we are those kind of people. I don't dare say that i'm indiscriminate towards anybody coz nobody's perfect. I'm just saying that maybe, JUST MAYBE, deep down in our hearts, subconsciously, we regard them as different from us, that we have some hidden prejudice towards others.

Not as serious as racial discrimination or Abu Ghraib incidents, but acting differently when they're around us.

Feel free to disagree.

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