Friday, April 15, 2016


By Mansor Puteh

The Bangladeshis have managed to get some negative reports in Malaysia lately. Many think they are all over the world without a purpose other than for them to get employment that they could not otherwise get in their own country.

It is not without a reason why many of them had left their country to go to England, Europe and America and also, Malaysia, and everywhere where they can find employment that they could not find in their own country.

Some were forced to leave Bangladesh. But there are some others who are more welcome elsewhere where they could find employment that meets with their education and qualification.

Others had to leave their country because of economic reasons; the pull and push factors acting in mysterious ways and creating equally mystifying results, which benefit the countries where they are at who could not do without them since their own kind are not so enamored to take up the jobs that these people did not have to think twice accepting. 

And the Pakistanis are not doing badly either.

Many of the Bangladeshis working in the many factories, in and around the cities are Chinese-owned, and they including those from Myanmar, Nepal and Vietnam would gather in the city center during festive holidays and other public holidays to loiter around and to meet up with friends, before they return to their old selves wearing their factory uniforms and soiled clothes.

They often get negative reports from the newspapers who charge that they have dominated the city; and the stores some of their more enterprising countrymen, especially those from Bangladesh and Myanmar had operated have also become targets of the scorn of the media.

Why? Because they are not white. If they are white, the people and media would not dare to create unnecessary issues on them, as can be seen in the many white or western outlets that have sprung all over the city and country, with none of them bothering to raise issues with them.

On the contrary, they are happy to see them, as they see these outlets and international brand names and companies as a symbol of pride.

But what will happen if the Bangladeshis, Myanmars and other foreign or Asian nationals were to leave the country? The economy of the country would tumble and most of the small Chinese-owned factories in Cheras and other places would have to close down.

The local men and women do not want to work in such establishments as the pay is not too big and the working condition not to their liking; they prefer to go into the illegal businesses and earn more.

But the Bangladeshis especially are not many in numbers in Malaysia only; they are everywhere especially in England and even America.

But many of them who are there are not cheap labors, but qualified persons who operate computer stores and other establishments which the locals in those countries do not want to be involved in anymore.

So much so that there are some small towns and cities in these countries which are now Bangladeshi-dominated such as Luton in England and Bangla City in Brick Lane, London.

There are even workshops in these countries that are operated by the Bangladeshis and Pakistanis some of whom are profiled on special programs on television.

So the Bangladeshis and Pakistans, all from former British colonies are not in England or America to work as laborers anymore; they are now into better and more interesting things like designing or redesigning cars for shows that are produced and shown on the international satellite channels.

But the truth is that they have been everywhere, especially in the United Kingdom and all over Europe and now also in America, including in Hollywood.

I had met some of them when I was in those places and got to know them well.

In Malaysia, they are brought into the country firstly to serve the small factories owned mostly by the Chinese and other non-Melayu, without who these factories cannot operate as the unqualified Melayu are not too eager to work in such places; they prefer to live in their fantasies with some finally entering the world of petty crimes; others opening stalls selling burgers and cookies.

But the most unusual Bangladeshi I have just met is called Leepu, who happens to be the main co-host of a car redesigning program on the History Channel I managed to watch from one to two this morning.

A Bangladeshi speaking in English which is not subtitled, and redesigning a Camero, and with the name of LEEPU? He did not look like a car redesigner or even a Bangladeshi that many in Malaysia have come to know.

And not to be outdone, there is a Pakistani man called Afzal Kahn in England who has a car workshop or redesign center who is featured in a similar program that is broadcast by satellite to many countries.

One can never find a Melayu from Malaysia being given such a task, hosting a special program on such a channel, ever. 

At the most there are some restaurants offering Melayu food that one can now see in the other major cities in England and not just in its capital city of London.

I have yet to see a computer store operated by the Melayu abroad. There are some in Malaysia but the largest number of them is operated by the Pakistanis and Bangladeshis.

Worse there is not one Melayu Town or Kampung Melayu compared to the Bangla Cities that one can see in many major cities in England with the main one at Luton which is basically a Bangla City.

How could this happen when some Melayu who would immediately immerse themselves in the local culture and follow local ways the moment they step out of the plane, in order that they could assimilate better and faster, yet, many can’t relate with the locals well.

And even more startling, there are many more Melayu who are westernized even when they have never been to any country in the west and speaking in English to each other that not many would understand when they are abroad, which is just for show.

But not with the Bangladeshis and Pakistanis who do not care for western styles and ways and who are very much who they are wherever they are even when they are in England or America.

They do not mix well with the locals and with their numbers they are able to create their own communities and in time establish their own masjid and Islamic centers. 

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