"Came to Malaysia three months ago, Eid is here but still not job"

Bangladeshi migrants celebrate Eid in Malaysia, away from family and friendsCollected

Over the past one and a half years, 450,000 workers have gone to Malaysia from Bangladesh, each spending over Tk 500,000 on average. Some among them still have no jobs.

There are a few more thousands of Bangladeshi workers already in Malaysia from before. As in Bangladesh, Eid is being celebrated in Malaysia today, Monday. These migrants are celebrating a lonely Eid away from their families and friends.

Md Rajib of Shibchar arrived in Malaysia three months ago. He spent Tk 490,000 to go there, but still has not got a job. He has an uncle in Kuala Lumpur and is staying there for the time being.

He said, "It's been three months since I came to Malaysia, Eid has come around, but still don't have a job. I haven't been able to send any money back to the family, couldn't buy anything for myself either."  

Also Read

The expatriates say that a large section of the workers in Malaysia do not get a holiday even on Eid. While everyone goes for Eid prayers in the morning, they have to go to their workplaces. That saddens them deeply.

On Facebook they see their relatives celebrating Eid and so many of them avoid social media so as not to get depressed. Their families sacrifice animals on Eid with the money they send, but forget to even call them on Eid morning, some of them say sadly.

Md Rasul Rana said, there is no joy in celebrating Eid away from friends and family. And most of the workers here have to work even on Eid day. That is our fate, our kismet.

Md Raihan Kasem has been in Malaysia for six to seven years. He works at a super shop in Malacca. Speaking to Prothom Alo, he said that there  is no day off even on Eid. They are never given time even to offer Eid prayers. It is certainly painful to have to work on Eid day. That is how Eid is without family and friends. It is painful, but has to be accepted.

The expatriates have a Facebook page called 'Malaysia Kajer Khobor' (News about work in Malaysia). Over there an expatriate, Iftekhar Ahmed, writes that he is going to work even on Eid day. He'll work from 10 in the morning till 10 at night. He had asked for one day's leave but was refused.

Commenting on his post, another expatriate, Md Ashraful Ahmed, wrote, "And I work from 6 in the morning till 8 at night."

Expatriates sacrifice their lives for their families' comfort, so their families can sacrifice animals at Eid. They have no Eid themselves
Rakib Rana, expatriate Bangladeshi worker in Malaysia

Then there are those who try to make the best of the circumstances and celebrate Eid however they can. Md Shanto Khan works in Georgetown of Malaysia's Penang province. He says that it feels bad to be away from near and dear ones over Eid, 'but we try to enjoy Eid day in any way we can.' Golam Rabbani says, "Actually there is no Eid for expatriates. Still, I celebrate Eid with my  friends here."

The expatriates celebrate together. Many of those who get a holiday on Eid, go on a trip with their expat friends. But they still miss their families, their wives, parents and children. Expatriate Md Arif Hossain says, "I have offered my Eid prayers, I have had sweets, and now I am going out. My daughter keeps phoning me from back home. I am missing my family."

There is a Facebook page called 'Malaysia Probashi Bangladeshi' (Expatriate Bangladeshis in Malaysia). An admin of the page, Rakib Rana, tells Prothom Alo, "Expatriates sacrifice their lives for their families' comfort, so their families can sacrifice animals at Eid. They have no Eid themselves."

Also Read