Below was posted (verbatim except for some typo I fixed) in Facebook on November 8th, in response to this article: Too much, too fast: An iPhone Tester Trapped in Apple’s Supply Chain
During the 80’s, Malaysia joined in the West’s outsourcing craze by evolving into a heavy industry country. These were the times when ‘mat/minah kilang‘ were the norm, where those who do not wish to further study opted to fill in the jobs required by these new factories.
Then in the 90’s Malaysia started to move towards K-economy by increasing intakes of its universities, with expansions of government backed universities and opening up private colleges. Less Malaysians are joining the blue collar, thus creating a market for foreign workers. Some even came in illegally
Terms like “mat/ minah indon“, “bangla“, and more straight forward terms such as Nepalis and Vietnamese started to be a part of the Malaysian dictionary. They came here to grab the opportunity for a better life for their family.
Unluckily greed and social norms that dictates that they are inferior to the locals made them a frequent victim of many abuses.
Not to say they are not to blame for their general accusations of degrading the society. Lack of hygiene, crime, kidnap, and vice increased in ways never before heard.
But in general, many of them are just human. They came here under the impression of a better future, often for their families back home, but some may not be so lucky.