The 2.1 Million REGISTERED foreign workers in Malaysia are expected to earn more than RM20 Billion this year, and at least RM18.1 Billion of that amount will be remitted to their country of origin.
ABernama dispatch from Dewan Rakyat quoted Deputy Prime Minister / Finance Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak saying that up till last June, the foreigners have send home more than RM 9 Billion.
The 2.1 million REGISTERED foreign workers’ ACTUAL EARNINGS must definitely be much higher than the amount that is being remitted home.
Put your ears to the ground and information suggests that for every ONE Registered foreign worker, there could be TWO or more UNREGISTERED ones.
And for every ONE foreign worker who remits his earnings legally via recognized financial tools, FIVE or more are passing their earnings home through others means, via both traditional and ‘underground’ networks.
So, the REAL amount of money being sent out from Malaysia annually by foreign workers (both registered & unregistered) could be astronomical … what more their ACTUAL EARNINGS.
I’m sure by now tongues would be wagging, some with a big pinch of jealousy, wondering how these Indonesians’, Bangladeshi Bhaiyas’, Indians, Nepalis’, Burma boys and the Vietnamese could chart such figures.
Have you seen how they work? Have we not noticed how enterprising the Indonesian traders in Chow Kit and the Bhaiyas’ in Petaling Street are? Have you witnessed how hardy they are in our oil-palm plantations?
So, you want to blame them for making so much money or kick yourself real hard if you’re one of the unemployed Malaysians?
I was jolted when a TV talk-show host, while commenting on the Finance Minister’s statement in Dewan Rakyat, claimed that ‘there are many areas in Kuala Lumpur where local women are babysitting Indonesian children while their ‘foreign worker’ parents are minting money on Malaysian soil’.
My friends! If that is real, is it something which requires immediate attention from the highest level?
Are we supposed to initiate another round of the blame-game now and point fingers at each other, or should we accept the fact that they have become part and puzzle of our Life in Malaysia?
Among the foreign workers here the Indonesians form the majority (both registered & unregistered), and they are also our closest ‘family member’ in this region.
While we agree that some of our Indonesian brothers and sisters are criminals, they’re no different from those criminals among us.
A Big majority of them are simply HARDWORKING people who are actually sacrificing a great deal by contributing their share towards OUR nation building.
We actually owe them a BIG Thank You! In fact we should send each and every one of their High Commissions or Embassy here a 'Thank You' note.
p/s 1.Government could consider some ‘out-of-the-box’ initiatives to ensure more of their earnings in Ringgit Malaysia are accounted for and legally transmitted via recognized means.
2. Strict enforcement of the existing laws, including the Labor Law, could benefit the Government and the workers as an increasing number of employers are turning out to be Vampires. Strict enforcement would not only deter illegal immigrants but would also ensure a better working/living condition for the legal foreign workers.
3. Sometimes when I look at the condition of some foreign workers in plantations and construction sites, I wonder if this was how the British treated our fellow Malaysians of Chinese and Indian origin more than 50 years ago.