Why don’t most foreigners want to leave Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR : The sun is already overhead, but the atmosphere of a morning market in Meru, Klang, Selangor is still busy with business activities.

Customers who come at the end of the opening hours are heard haggling, trying to reduce the price as low as possible, taking advantage of the desire of traders who want to quickly finish their sales.

At a stall selling fresh chicken, a man in his 30s whose stature clearly showed he was not a local was busy cutting up chicken for customers.

“I am from Bangladesh and have been doing business here for the past year,” he said.

Wanting to be known as Karim, the stout and medium height man claimed he had no choice but to do business illegally. His work permit at a plastic factory in Selangor was not renewed by his employer.

“I don’t care about immigration raids, the important thing is that I can collect some money for my own expenses and send it to my wife and two young children in Bangladesh,” he said.

Asked why he did not return to his home country after his work permit expired, Karim claimed he did not have enough money to do so.

“Now I can make a profit of around RM100 a day from doing nothing at all,” he said who also owns a van to run his business.

The man, however, refused to answer when asked if he planned to return to his homeland in the near future, citing fear of arrest.

“That’s why I want to collect a lot of money now. If anything happens, I already have money,” he said again.

According to a local trader that at the market that morning, Karim was just one of dozens of foreigners who did business there, selling fresh goods such as vegetables, fish and chicken.

“If there is a raid, they will run away and leave the sale point alone,” said a trader who declined to be identified.

Karim’s story indirectly confirms the complaints of the local people, how the presence of foreigners in this country is increasingly felt now and not everyone sees it positively.

Commenting on the issue, Malaysian International Humanitarian Organization Secretary General Datuk Hishamuddin Hashim believes that the foreigners involved see this country as a “paradise” for them to earn a living.

Therefore, he did not reject the view that the “reluctance” of those who have expired work permits to return to their country of origin as one of the contributors to the “dumping” of foreigners in this country now.

“They originally had valid documents such as Temporary Work Visit Passes (PLKS) or Social Visit Passes (PLS) with a contract or a certain period, but they were not renewed or overstayed because it was easy for them to earn a living here,” he told

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