In the next few weeks, EMPOWER will be featuring stories of people who are affected by the Covid19 pandemic as well as profiling inspiring individuals who are doing their bit to assist the unfortunate during this challenging time.

Today, we are sharing *Ajit’s story, a security guard working at a condominium in PJ to highlight the affects of the #MCO to his life.

Hi, can you tell me a little about yourself? Family, when you came to Malaysia, anything?

I came here 3 years ago. First time, I worked as a guard in factory. I went home and came back last year (2019) and work for this new company and work here at this condo. My family village is near Pokhara. Very poor, so I come here to work and help them. I am not married. I help my brothers who are married and with children and my grandparents, who are old. Farming is not easy, tourism is also not easy after the earthquake in 2015. People told me to go to work as guard in Malaysia, good money, so I came. Money is not very good but still okay. Enough to help my family and save some money. Also I have no choice – I must work, if not, I cannot eat.

What are some of the problems you faced during this pandemic – especially with the restricted movement order.

So much worse. I share a house with other guards. Food becomes expensive because small shops are closed. Shops that give us budget meals are all closed (small stall/hawker food). We now share and must buy food from shops that remain open. These shops are very expensive. So I find it hard. Sometimes good people buy us food – we are grateful. But what to do, we don’t have much choice.
People also get angry easily now because they cannot move. They shout at us more when we do work. When asked why you come (visitors wanting to enter the condo), they shout and say bad words at us. What can we do? We do our job, but they don’t understand. They are rude. Many Malaysians treat us (migrant workers) very badly. Makes us think we are not people (human) here – treating us like robots only (with no feelings).
Police are also stopping us a lot and asking where we go. We wear uniforms – we go to work. Our company say we must work, or no pay. Police still stop and sometimes ask money. We have no choice, we have to give it to them.

What kind of help do you need?

We also work in Malaysia – we also need help. Government not only need to help Malaysians, but need to help us also. We are also people. We also need food. We are migrants but we are still people. We do work here – we didn’t come here to do bad things. We work hard and we work well. But why is the government not helping us? We can also get sick but it’s very hard to get help in the hospital. Why? People can be nice. We just do our work, don’t shout at us. My friend said, Malaysian government says Nepal government must help us. I laugh. What will the Nepal government do? Do you see any other government from poor country helping? Only America, England help they (their) people. Our government has no money. No money, no help.

What do you hope for?

I do not know. No hope for anything. Everyday I come to work, I help my family in Nepal. I cannot think too much, because then I become very sad. I just pray to God to help me and my friends. Sometimes good people help a little bit – give food, old pots, cooking oil, tin (canned food). This helps very much. Especially when we have no money to buy outside food. Maybe you can ask your government to also help us – we also need help – maybe help us with food. And if we get sick, we don’t have to pay a lot (for hospital fees).

Thank you for your story, Ajit.

*Name has been changed to protect the privacy of the individual.

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