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Like vagabonds, migrants caught in quota fraud travel around to seek work
Breathing in thick fumes from roasting coffee and boiling sugar, Mohamad Kazi’s work conditions were a far cry from the cleaning job in a highland resort he was promised when he signed up to come work in Malaysia.

But having taken on RM17,000 in debt to leave Bangladesh for greener pastures, this work in a coffee factory in Cheng, Malacca was his only way to make the money back.

“We were wearing slippers, without gloves or masks, and handling a boiling mixture of 35kg of sugar and 3kg of coffee which we poured into large steel vessels, waited for it to cool, and had to pound the substance into powder.

“The air felt thick and bitter. By the second day, we all fell ill and experienced difficulty breathing,” he said.

The workers demanded better personal protective equipment like boots and masks, but instead, Kazi said, the factory paid them the day’s wages and told them to leave.

Kazi and a group of Bangladeshi workers...

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