Death of a migrant worker


Malaysians are so riveted by the Altantuya murder case that they didn’t notice that another foreign national has died in Malaysia in mysterious circumstances. Well, I wouldn’t blame them as the news went unreported in the local media.

Vipin V Nair was found hanged in a budget hotel room in George Town, Penang earlier this month. What drove a young man from India to take his life in a foreign land?

Sadly, even if we had heard about it, I doubt if the news would have raised any eyebrows. After all, he was “just a migrant worker”. No big-time political intrigue, no political powerplay.

But if we care to look deeper, we will see that many migrant workers are victims of exploitation, cheating and deception. Many parties stand to make a lot of money from the recruitment of foreign workers into Malaysia. Think about it: you have recruitment agents’ fees and other costs in their home countries, Fomema charges for medical tests, higher general hospital charges for medical treatment, annual foreign workers’ levies and of course low wages once they arrive here. That doesn’t include the bribes and extortion rackets that some foreign workers encounter along the way.

Most of us look the other way and turn a blind eye to such exploitation and a deaf ear to their cries of anguish. After all, the attitude is as long as we can live in prosperity, why bother? Never mind if there are others who suffer in the process.

Here is the story I wrote of Vipin and his friends and their experience in Malaysia:

PENANG, Jun 19 (IPS) – He died a lonely death in a budget hotel room in downtown George Town earlier this month, far away from home. The death went unreported in the local media and unnoticed by most Malaysians.

But what drove this worker from India in his mid-20s to take his life, assuming there was no foul play? Undertakers told IPS that the death certificate indicated the cause of death as hanging. His body was sent home to India on June 10. Full article: Death of a migrant worker

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Ruth Paul

Common people join the human effort at migrant support centers to help others in a more humane way, Reaching out in solidarity.

Dr.Chris Anthony

Yes,I agree there is a lot of monetary gain in the “migrant worker trade”.The way migrant workers are treated by us is not much different from the slave trade 2 centuries ago.

The only thing that matters today is the amount of wealth we can accunulate.All virtues and moral values have become irrelevant.

It is a very sad that human lives seem to have lost their worth.