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I Paid RM12,000 To Move To Malaysia Only To Become a Dishwasher at a Mamak

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Immigration has historically been a transformative journey for countless people seeking better opportunities and a higher quality of life. For many, it represents a chance to escape hardship, persecution, or economic stagnation in their home countries.

This story is about what a young 19-year-old Bangladeshi man experienced when he moved to Malaysia for the first time.

The Bangladeshi man, Arun (pseudonym) shares,

“I’m the only son in my family, and after finishing high school, my family started relying on me for money.

“I noticed my cousins working in Malaysia were sending more money back to Bangladesh. Surprisingly, they were doing well, earning twice as much monthly as they would in Bangladesh.

Witnessing my cousins’ success as they bought land and properties inspired me to do the same for my family. The desire to provide them with a better life fueled my determination.”

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I applied for a job in Malaysia with a RM12,000 loan

Arun had to go through an an authorized agency in order to work in Malaysia.

“I contacted an agent in my city who claimed to work with a recruitment agency in Dhaka. Despite knowing that the cost was high at 283,000 Bangladeshi Takas (around RM 12,000), I had no choice, so I took out a loan.

“In preparation, I attended courses to learn about Malaysian laws, foreign workers’ rights, customs, and work life.

“I thought this was my chance to make my family proud.”

After 4 months of waiting, the agent called Arun.

“He said that he had found me a job in a 4-star hotel in Malaysia. That’s all he told me, and I paid 50%. Surprisingly, I never got any receipts.”

However, when Arun went to sign the contract, the agent requested him to pay an additional RM185 without any explanation, but Arun complied to avoid any problems.

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He had finally sealed the deal… or so he thought

When Arun arrived in Malaysia, he was immediately sent to a Mamak restaurant in Puchong instead of a 4-star hotel like his agent had claimed.

“Confused and disappointed, my attempts to contact the agent went unanswered.”

“With no other choice, I had to work in the restaurant, washing dishes—a far cry from my dreams. Back home, being the only son, I was pampered and never really had to wash dishes or do chores. Instead, it was disappointing to have paid about RM12,000 to move countries and end up working as a dishwasher in a Mamak.

“Additionally, the restaurant provides a hostel where I share a room with 15 other colleagues. Each of us has a bed and wardrobe, with RM40 deducted from our salary.

“Working long hours, six days a week, without proper pay, became a harsh reality. I work from 6:30 AM to 6:30 PM every day, with two days off a month. Even then, I try to work overtime as much as possible.”

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I can’t leave the job because I can’t afford to go home

Even with the Malaysian Employment Act, Arun’s management refused to give him the pay rate according to overtime work. He was also subjected to severe verbal and physical abuse by his boss.

“If we don’t perform our job as well as the manager likes, he starts yelling at us and calling us foul names.

“Once, there were a few unwashed dishes, and when the owner noticed them, he became furious. In his anger, he threw the dishes at me while yelling in Tamil. I didn’t understand until later when I talked to my colleagues, and they told me he was calling me names like ‘bastard’ and using offensive language.”

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“A few days later, while I was washing dishes, he grabbed a bucket of soapy water and poured it all over me, hurling insults in Tamil like ‘smelly dog’ and ‘brainless idiot.’ To this day, I still don’t understand what triggered such behaviour.

“As a result, some colleagues ran away because they couldn’t handle the abuse and stress.”

Stuck, Arun is forced to continue working at the Mamak. He also still has his obligations towards his family like paying for his sister’s education.

“We came here to earn money and provide a better life for our family, but instead of getting a fair chance, we just get exploited.”

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“I hope for stricter regulations on how workplaces treat foreign workers. We deserve more rights and the chance to speak up. Above all, our feelings matter, and we deserve workplaces that treat us with dignity.”

Share this article to make sure his voice is heard.

©: IRL

Also Read: Dead Body Found In Container That Arrived in Penang From Bangladesh

5 006

Source: 123RF
Source: 123RF
Source: NST
Source: Andy Hall
Source: 123RF

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