Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Selamat Hari Merdeka!

A few hours to go before we celebrate Merdeka again.

I love you Malaysia!

A Burmese Immigrant with his two prized chicken...

Let me tell you a story.

This woman, which was a rich person back in her home country. She owns a emerald and precious stone mine where she was borned. Government ruling state that you could only clear, say, 10 trees a day to explore new land for your mining business. One day, the government official came and said she has cut down 11 trees. This was good enough reason for this military government to confiscate her land, her home and her life.

cut and polished emerald that cost lives to be produced

For months, she live like an outcast in her own land, all her material gain was taken from her. She lived like a convict in her own land and she ended up a squatter in her own homeland.

And so, enough is enough, she took out all her savings that the military did not take from her, all USD6k of it. She paid an agent to get out of her country and come to ours. Illegal as she might will be if she does that, she knows, from news of her friends in Malaysia, that it is a greener pasture over here, despite them being illegals.

The USD6k paid to the agent will not cover airfare of 5 star stay. Instead, in her own words, she said,

"we were bundled up in this fishing boat, sitting down on the deck, with our legs wrapped by our own hand, the tip of my toe touches the back of the person infront of me, and i could feel the toes of the person behind me, on my left and right were my countrymen and women, shoulder touching shoulder,there is so many of us escaping our own homeland. We were covered with a piece of cloth to conceal us on the deck"

no Star Cruises standard

And when they reach the Thai water, they were asked to jump off the boat and hide in the mangrove and moments later, they were asked to swim abroad and resume position again. Apaprently, they have to do this everytime the Thai Navy boat come close...Those that are not fast enough to be back into the boat are left behind.

Upon reaching our country's border up north, they were asked to jump off the boat and ran into the jungle into a holding hut.

In the hut, there were many of her own country men, women and babies, again, all locked inside, sitting in the same exact position as in the boat. She said an old man died inside the hut but the agent did not open the door at all.

2 days later, they were asked to leave in batches of 10s. Putting them inside the Toyota Landcruiser Ninja Turtle (for those that knows, it's actually the biggest landcruiser made by Toyota, aptly named Ninja Turtle because it looked like one) which were heavily tinted. They sat behind, 4 person on the seat, then 3 person ontop of the 4 person, then 2 person ontop of the 3 person and finally 1 person ontop of the 2 person, forming a human pyramid. They lost count of the hours in the landcruiser as it was too comfortable, compared to the huts and boats.

This one...

...Not these...

Along the way, they were dropped off one by one and was told to wait in the bush/jungle until a certain car came, then they have to rush inside cars which were described to them and hide in the back seat.

This time, only a maximum of 4 person in the car.

One by one, as the car was moving, an accomplice in the front seat will open the back door and push them out.

This woman found herself smack in the middle of Jalan Alor.

Jalan Alor in relation to the Golden Triangle

Just like magic, still looking dazed, a few fellow countrymen came to her and said, "you just arrived?" in their mothertongue.

She was brought to this flat, where many others like her are housed. They are now officially illegals in Malaysia.

This woman, after 2 weeks, decided to head to the UNHCR and told her story. Upon investigation and verifying of her side of story, she was given a pass, which denotes her being a refugee. She will now wait for her turn to be deported to country like Denmark, Sweden, Finland and many others that takes in refugees.

They sleep head to toe in the flat which houses so many of them it's not funny. Everyone chip in to pay the expensive rent to the local man which owns the place.

But while waiting for her turn to go, she can't work as her rufugee status do not allow her too do so legally.

So, what's she's gonna live in?

For months since she first landed here in Malaysia, she is still an illegal immigrant with a refugee status and she is working as a dishwasher to earn enough to feed herself and take care of herself.

First thing she bought was a pair of sandal, as she has given hers to a mohter with a baby when they were running in the jungle.

Hearing her story from a third party (Close to me, so, rest assured, no salt, pepper was added to give the story above an extra zing), it makes me so happy and glad and grateful that i'm borned, grew up and will bring my own kids up in this country called MALAYSIA.

Nevermind how much Siti, Mawi, Ina, Dato K they show on national TV, i can live with that compared to what the woman has to go through.

I'm grateful, are you?

Happy Merdeka Day!!!

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