A friend from Myanmmar contacted me on Friday. I of course, am ecstatic. Having spent 2 months in the place, and experiencing first hand the lovely people and the fucked-up government, I am always excited when I hear any of my old colleagues who took such good care of me when I was a measly intern escape the place.
When I met my mate for dinner. The story came out. And believe me, I was angry beyond words. Not just pissed. Not just fed-up. But a cold, intense flame ignited, and slowly grew hotter as he carried on with his story.
To come to Singapore, my friend paid $3,700 to an "agent", who's suppose to get him an employment pass and a job in Singapore. To the average Burmese, that's 1 ENTIRE year's salary. To raise that amount, he borrowed the bulk of it from money lenders, and his family raised the rest.
In Singapore, he got his employment pass. But his employer fired him and revoked his pass 2 months into the job. Since then the "agent" arranged a 1 month part time job for him, where he made minimal wage, put him up in a tiny apartment somewhere about town where he pays $130 a month to share a sleeping space with thirty. That's right folks, 3 0 other people. 1 toilet.
He hardly understands English, can barely communicate, much less navigate the intricacies of the Singapore Immigration Laws. He is trying his best to find a job that'll sponsor his employment permit, and he's just a tad too innocent, even for Singapore society.
I looked through all his documents over dinner. All he had are 2 phone numbers for his so-called "agent". After the first job, all the agent did, was to get him an extension on his social visit pass, and made him to a stint as a waiter, albeit illegally.
I. AM. ANGRY.
To me, this is the equivalent of trafficking in human currency. Bringing a person to a foreign land, leaving him to die. And forcing him into a corner like this, then ditching him.
Devasatating another human's life like that, earning blood money, I don't know how they sleep at night.
But when I finally hunt them down, somebody will pay.