Every time we see migrant workers on their way to work at a construction site, they always appear cheerful — No matter how hard their tasks for the day will be or how grossly underpaid they are.
The sad reality of their struggles was brought to light for many after a photo of a migrant worker having his lunch break went viral. The image showed him having his lunch of only plain rice topped with plain water. No soups, no side dishes.
Terjumpa orang negara luar.. Makan nasi dgn kuar air mineral je pic.twitter.com/2hehfSALXC
— Arif (@syahdan_94) March 5, 2019
The photo has prompted reactions among Malaysians with most of them sharing their sympathies as well as sharing their own experience regarding the matter.
“When you feel like giving up, know that they are those who are currently facing more hardship but can still be happy with what they have.”
“My mom once told me that she witness a group of migrant workers eating at a restaurant, and they can only afford to eat broth and nothing else.”
“I used to work in the construction field and I always see these immigrant workers sharing their rice. Most of the time, their side dishes will only be onion curry. They need to save money to send back to their families. Sometimes their salaries are only used to pay for their passports and their agents will always overcharge them.”
“My dad is also a contractor and he works with migrant workers too. They usually buy a lot of rice in the morning and keep some for dinner. However, the only dish that they can afford is a simple sambal belacan or crackers. Some of the workers even have masters degrees but they can’t find any jobs in their hometown.”
Whether we like it or not, migrant workers are integral in building the nation. With that said, we should stop this form of modern slavery. Where is our humanity if we ignore the struggles of those around us? What is your opinion on the matter? Share with us in the comment section below.