Malaysia hosts hundreds of thousands of foreign workers. Immigrants from Bangladesh, Indonesia, Vietnam, Burma, and the Philippines have left their home countries and traveled here, in search of a better life – working in industries such as food and beverage, construction, and plantation.
While many Malaysians have expressed unfavorable views towards them, I believe Malaysia has benefited quite a lot from the immigrants’ presence. Take a stroll down Kuala Lumpur and it’s impossible for you to miss out on anything built by immigrant workers. Our skyscrapers, our roads, and our pedestrian bridges, are erected by their hands.
What we have with our fellow immigrants is a symbiosis. They need us to have the life they never could back home, and we need them to build our country, literally. Also, immigrant workers have helped in improving our lives. For example, a working mother’s hectic schedule eases up with the assistance of her Philippine help. An office is kept spotless clean by the Indonesian cleaning lady. Or a property is safely guarded by the Nepalese security worker.
Likewise, the hardship of foreigns workers should remind us of our forefathers who came to this land to seek a better future. After all, this land has welcomed and embraced many people from many parts of our region. Significant number of the Malays came from Sumatera, Java, Moluccas, etc, the Chinese, Indian, and Arabs have come and assimilated into the culture of our land.
Their presence is an integral part of our society. We live side by side and play our individual roles in molding a better Malaysia.
And I say, this is one of the nice things we Malaysians have.