The immigrant labour has completely penetrated our lives. Supermarkets, wet markets, night markets, foot massage and just about any corner of our streets, we have immigrant workers servicing us. In other words, we would have sleepless nights without immigrant workers. Life will be difficult for us! It is a situation where we need them more than they need us…
By the time I wake up at six in the morning, my ground floor area is already shining and squeaky clean. My Filipino maid has completed part of her daily cleaning routine at the ground floor level consisting of 3 bedrooms and a hall. Once the breakfast for my school-going children are laid nicely on the table, she returns to her chores of cleaning the first and second floors of my house. Then, it is followed by watering the plants and finishing up the laundry. Viewing from my balcony, my garden is a neat patch of greenery tended by my immigrant gardener. The painter who does the white wash on my fence is the supervisor, he is another immigrant labour too.
For my breakfast, it is my usual cup of hot tea at the traditional coffee shop. Even though it is also prepared by an immigrant labour the taste is still acceptable, I couldn’t ask for more. There were no locals to take over the job ever since the old breed of experienced workers left. Well, if we look closely the wantan mee sellers, pan mee sellers, mixed rice sellers, char koay teow sellers, the waiters, the cleaners, the DVD sellers – aren’t they all immigrant labours? Not forgetting, when I left my residential area, the guard at the guard post who waved goodbye to me is also an immigrant worker.
After my breakfast, I drove over to the construction site of my seven storey boutique hotel. There were more than twenty skilled construction workers there, they were all immigrant workers. And when they saw me approaching, they greeted me with respect. Upon entering my office, there were already some customers waiting there with their kids playing in the waiting room. It was then that my manager came up and gave me this report – these customers have decided to take their maids with them on their overseas trips! That strikes me immediately, we are having another new breed of customers, aren’t we?
As I was happily exploring this new opportunity, my brother from Terengganu called up looking for a buyer for a 150 acres of freehold oil palm plantation and I was worried about the question of who is going to harvest the fruits. My brother immediately answered “Labour is not a problem! There are plenty of immigrant workers here and hardworking ones too.” During one of my trips, I happened to meet the owner of a manufacturing company and he mentioned to me that it’s fortunate that he has some immigrant workers. Otherwise, he could be forced to close down his factory. This opinion was also echoed by the Japanese companies in Malaysia.
Well, time really flies when I was busy and lunch time was fast approaching. We have choices like vegetarian rice, mixed dishes rice, chicken rice, claypot noodle, bak kut the, hamburger, pizza, fried chicken, naan, etc…. Whatever it is, we are in no position to choose what brand and quality. As long as it can fill our stomach, then it is good enough. Anyway, the immigrant worker also wears his gloves when serving us food, this should put us at ease. Soon after, it was tea time at 4pm and off we went to the trendy kopitiam for a cuppa and some chit chat. In the kopitiam, we pressed the triggering button over and over again and yet no one came to take our orders. I must say this must be the worst group of immigrant workers I have ever encountered – a lazy bunch. This is a far cry from the coffee house where I dined the previous night. They had well trained immigrant workers who are well mannered and they could even speak English. They were a class above the rest.
In short, the immigrant labour has completely penetrated our lives. Supermarkets, wet markets, night markets, foot massage and just about any corner of our streets, we have immigrant workers servicing us. In other words, we would have sleepless nights without immigrant workers. Life will be difficult for us! It is a situation where we need them more than they need us. Without immigrant workers, our life could be paralysed. Therefore, join me in saying “Thank you immigrant workers. You have done a good job.”