Most Read
Most Commented
Read more like this
From Our Readers

LETTER | I am angry, sad, traumatised and most of all ashamed.

What is our beloved country Malaysia coming to?

Corrupted, abusive, heartless; people of Malaysia do you have a conscience, a kind heart, love and respect for another person?

A few may but if decades of letting abuse and murder and torture go unchecked tell us, maybe most of us don't.

If we had a kind heart, if we had love and care, and a sense of responsibility, all Malaysians would be in uproar over yet another death of a domestic worker; this time of an innocent Adelina Lisio from Indonesia.

While we were busy getting ready for Chinese New Year celebrations and long public holidays, eating and making merry, Adelina had barely enough food to eat.

She was made to sleep out in the heat and rain with the dog. The dog looked much healthier than Adelina did when she was rescued.

Fellow Malaysians, if we have any sense of remorse in our heart, we would all be out on the streets telling employers, telling our government, enough is enough.

Enough neglecting migrant rights. Enough torture. Enough deaths of migrant workers in our country. Enough murders of domestic workers.

We would be relentless in calling for accountability from those responsible: employers, agents, the Malaysian government and ‘sending countries’.

To 'sending countries': You have failed to protect your citizens you’ve sent to work as migrants. You push your citizens to work overseas so you can profit from remittances. You push them to go even though so many come back in coffins. With the ugly heads of corruption and greed, masked in diplomacy, you have failed to protect your citizens.

Malaysia: with all the wealth and might we have, perhaps we think we can buy and sell human beings to serve our needs. After all, they are just foreigners (and not the special kind of foreigners we like, isn’t it?).

When we’re done with them, it’s easy to just chuck them out of our country, maybe whip them even if they haven’t had a chance to defend themselves. Or if the government chooses to ‘handle the case’, just push them onto embassies in the name of 'Asean partnership', without care for justice and redress, just so we can repatriate them out of our country.

Adelina’s family is crying in grief, unable to understand why their young daughter died so young.

What wrong has she done to be abused in such a manner to death? She toiled and toiled, day in and out, with all the pain, tears, sadness and blood – alone.

To all who saw her beaten and made to sleep outside, get yelled at; who suspected abuse but didn’t act sooner, ask yourselves why? This is on your conscience too. As it is on the conscience of all Malaysians who keep choosing not to act.

Our government of the day and opposition parties you have failed in the protection of migrant workers. Stop being consumed by bickering with each other rather than seeing to the wellbeing of both citizens and migrant workers in our soil.

When will Malaysia and Malaysians learn? When will we get rid of corruption?

When will we stop flaunting our wealth and status and being racist, arrogant, pretending to be religious while shutting our gates and doors to rights, in the name of 'protecting ourselves' and serving our own interests?

All we keep doing is degrading our own rights, opening ourselves to injustice in our midst, and reflecting ourselves to be a country without conscience.

Malaysians, I challenge you to criticise yourself and the people around you, and stand tall in protecting all people, cause only then can we become the good, just country we know we can be.

Thank you.

AEGILE FERNANDEZ is a director at Tenaganita and has worked for migrants, refugees, trafficked persons and the human rights of all especially the most marginalised and disenfranchised communities for half a century. She believes it is incredibly urgent now more than ever that all Malaysians come together in solidarity to fight against oppression and for human rights.

The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.