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7 Harsh Realities That Go On in the ‘Homes’ of Foreign Workers in Malaysia

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7 Harsh Realities That Go On in the 'Homes' of Foreign Workers in Malaysia - WORLD OF BUZZ 7
Source: R.AGE
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Malaysians often look at foreign workers with a dirty eye. Admit it, we all tend to look down on them as they are often working the hard labour jobs.

In fact, what many of us may not know is that most of them were actually tricked into coming to our country, which makes them undocumented people – even if we did, most of us sadly probably wouldn’t even bat an eye. To take advantage of this, some horrid Malaysians would hire them as hard labour, and dump them in unimaginable working and living conditions.

As if constantly performing hard labour isn’t strenuous enough, these poor souls are forced to reside in atrocious living conditions called kongsi, which are makeshift houses for these people.



Here are 7 shocking things you should know about these kongsi houses as well as the people who live in them.

1. One kongsi houses HUNDREDS of foreign workers

7 Harsh Realities That Go On in the 'Homes' of Foreign Workers in Malaysia - WORLD OF BUZZ

Source: R.AGE

In R.AGE’s shocking article, it was revealed that about 400 people live in one kongsi, including women and children.

The R.AGE team had gone undercover into one of the makeshift homes for the foreign workers who were building a luxury condominium in Kuala Lumpur. Which is super ironic seeing as they live in wooden planks while they’re constructing such a high-end building.

 

2. Everyone shares ONE open bath



This isn't a Warzone, It is the Homes of Foreign Workers in Malaysia - WORLD OF BUZZ 2

Source: R.AGE

Men and women are forced to bathe in the open where a massive concrete bathtub is located. Worst of all, there are only 3 toilets to cater to all those hundreds of people.

In fact, local actress Nazia Mustafa used to live in this kind of harsh life. In an interview with Utusan, she recalled how tough the bathroom situation was.

“Every time we wanted to poop, we had to use newspaper and then later throw it in the ditch. In fact, we had to use the same well as everyone else, so I had to wake up as early as 5am every morning to get ready for school.

“If I woke up late, I had to queue up for a long time just to bathe as many other people wanted to bathe too.”

 

3. They use the SAME water for literally everything



7 Harsh Realities That Go On in the 'Homes' of Foreign Workers in Malaysia - WORLD OF BUZZ 4

Source: R.AGE

From showering to drinking, their source of water is all from that one big well. On one side of the concrete tub, women would be washing vegetables using the water, and on the other side, men would be showering all at the same time.

Jamal (not his real name) from Bangladesh told R.AGE that sanitation was a major issue.

“The main problem is sanitation. The toilets are filthy and we use the same water for bathing and for drinking.”

 

4. These kongsi houses are ‘guarded’ by local gangsters

This isn't a Warzone, It is the Homes of Foreign Workers in Malaysia - WORLD OF BUZZ 6

Source: R.AGE

The main reason the R.AGE journalists had to sneak in wearing ragged and dirty clothes was to avoid being detected. In fact, their main concern was the gangsters who were ‘guarding’ these kongsi houses rather than the regular security guards there.

They even had to hide their cameras and other filming equipment to lower down suspicion.

 

5. The kongsi structures are complete fire hazards

This isn't a Warzone, It is the Homes of Foreign Workers in Malaysia - WORLD OF BUZZ 3

Source: R.AGE

There have been numerous cases of kongsi homes catching fire. Unfortunately, because most of the structures are made out of plywood, the fire spreads very fast.

The most recent case took place in Alor Setar where the home of many of the foreign workers burned down, Harian Metro reported. Not only did they lose their makeshift home, they also lost all their precious belongings.

7 Harsh Realities That Go On in the 'Homes' of Foreign Workers in Malaysia - WORLD OF BUZZ 2

Source: Harian Metro

Sadly, this doesn’t stop them from cooking right inside these wooden structures. They use portable gas stoves to do their cooking too, which ultimately raises the fire threats every day.

 

6. They are mostly illegal immigrants but through no fault of their own

This isn't a Warzone, It is the Homes of Foreign Workers in Malaysia - WORLD OF BUZZ 5

Source: R.AGE

Yes. They aren’t staying here legally, but they actually came here legally. They were all duped by horrid agents into thinking that they were coming here for a brand new opportunity, a brand new life.

Some thought they were coming here to pursue their higher education while others thought they would be working proper jobs rather than just doing hard labour.

In Jamal’s case, he ended up working in the construction site to cover the amount of money he has loaned.

“I borrowed a lot of money to come to this country. I can’t go back without first settling my debts.”

7 Harsh Realities That Go On in the 'Homes' of Foreign Workers in Malaysia - WORLD OF BUZZ 5

Source: R.AGE

In total, Jamal paid Tk325,000 (RM16,500) for his one-year visa, which is equivalent to two years’ salary back in his country.

 

7. Women even give birth inside the kongsi instead of going to the hospital

This isn't a Warzone, It is the Homes of Foreign Workers in Malaysia - WORLD OF BUZZ 4

Source: R.AGE

Seeing as many of the illegal immigrants are also women, they have no choice but to give birth in secrecy. They can’t seek help from professional medics because they don’t have documents and also because they can’t afford it.

During one of the many raids done by the police in August 2017, the cops found many children between the ages of 2 weeks old and 6 years old.

Regrettably, the children were also arrested as they did not have any proper documents, Harian Metro reported.

7 Harsh Realities That Go On in the 'Homes' of Foreign Workers in Malaysia - WORLD OF BUZZ 6

Source: Harian Metro

As pathetic as they may seem in our eyes, it is unfortunately the sad reality. In fact, the amount of illegal immigrants in Malaysia is super high because for every single legal immigrant, there are two illegal immigrants here.

Also, if looking at photos of their living condition makes you feel uncomfortable, just know that they themselves can barely stand it. In fact, Jamal told the brazen R.AGE reporters that it is far worse here in Malaysia than in Bangladesh.

“It’s much better at home. Living conditions here are so bad, but I have no choice.”

So, the next time you think of insulting these ill-fated folks, remember that they are actually suffering in these conditions. They did not ask for it; they were forced into it.

This isn't a Warzone, It is the Homes of Foreign Workers in Malaysia - WORLD OF BUZZ

Source: R.AGE

And if you think merely ‘going back’ to their country can solve all their problems, you’re wrong. The bigger issue is how they can’t even return due to the lack of funds and the fact that they are undocumented.

For a more extensive look into the life of these poor souls stuck in the rumah kongsi, check out R.AGE’s report here.

 

Also read: Fake Beggars are Targeting Selangor as Its People are the Most Generous

"The Beggars Told Us It's Easy to Make Money Here Since Selangorians are Generous." - WORLD OF BUZZ

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