MALACCA, Aug 2 – Collecting scrap metals for sale is not anyone’s dream job, but Mohd Sadek Guramia, of the Rohingya Muslim ethnic group is grateful to do the job to support his family. Mohd Sadek, 33, said he did not earn much of an income doing the job, but acknowledged that the country’s peace and prosperity gave him more space to provide for his wife Senuwara Bugem Feran Ali, 28, and his three children, in contrast to what he had in his home country Myanmar.
Having lived here since 2012, he still had nightmares whenever he remembered how his late mother was beaten up and killed, and then two years later his father had suffered the same fate when he was shot dead by military personnel. Scars on his legs and head reminded him of his painful experiences of being a victim of the atrocities by the army, that he decided to flee by boarding a sea vessel for a month to reach Malaysia to seek protection before successfully bringing his wife here a year later.
“Upon my arrival here, I feel safe seeing all people living peacefully here, no war and conflicts that we had back in Myanmar. I wanted to come to Malaysia as this country is safe and can provide many opportunities for me and my family to continue living,” he told Bernama via an interpreter.
Mohd Sadek, who lost three of his siblings as a result of the conflict in his home country, said he was very grateful for all the opportunities and generosity shown by the people here. He said Malaysians should be grateful for having well-equipped health facilities provided by the government, even getting the health service and treatment for just RM1.
“I have taken one of my children for treatment at the hospital, and had to pay the cost of treatment because we are not Malaysians, however, we did not have enough money and fortunately there were concerned and generous Malaysians who came to our aid,” he said. Despite the facilities they had been enjoying here, Mohd Sadek was planning to return home to Myanmar and hoped that the conflicts would eventually end with the help of various countries including Malaysia.
“I appeal to the world community to open their eyes and hope that Malaysia will continue its stance to support the oppressed Rohingya Muslim ethnic group and urge the Myanmar authorities to stop the atrocities that clearly violate human rights,” he said. Meanwhile, Flotilla 3 Arakan International committee chairman Datuk Nur Sahar Osman said the Rohingya refugees who received protection in the country needed assistance and guidance to enable them to rebuild their lives.
“We also found that 90% of the Rohingya refugee children in the state are not attending school, however, I welcome efforts by several parties, including a madrasah (religious school) in Tehel, Jasin (near here), to accept Rohingya children not only of those who reside in Malacca but from other states as well,” he said. He said his organisation had been tracking down more of the Rohingya refugees in the state to find out their situation and to provide assistance to those in need. — Bernama