Penang Monthly sheds light on the plight of an undocumented Bangladeshi migrant worker as he speaks about his new life in Malaysia and the horrors of human trafficking.
The cluster of squalid shacks where a dozen or so undocumented Bangladeshi migrant workers live is well-hidden from view. As I enter the area, the odour of sweat, magnified by the heat, hangs in the air.
Shammu, my interviewee, stands wary but welcoming at the entrance of his shack. He is one of the few Bangladeshis there fluent enough in English for an interview. “I came to Malaysia in June 2014, shortly after completing my master’s degree in Political Science at Bangladesh National University.” Enticed by the stories his uncle painted of Malaysia and its people, Shammu came to the country in search of a better future. “I had heard promising tales of Malaysia being a wealthy country, about how my people could easily secure jobs and make good money here to send back to their families.”
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