Migrants make up a considerable part of the Malaysian population, and not only just in terms of numbers. Like it or not, foreigners are integral to the way we live our lives.
They’re in our workplaces, next to us on the bus, and in our housing areas; Malaysia would just not be the same without them.
But we often take most migrant workers who aren’t expats (read: white and wealthy) for granted. There’s even a strong anti-immigrant sentiment among some Malaysians.
However, a Malaysian tweeted a touching story about his encounter with a Bangladeshi man donating money at a mosque might just melt some hearts.
Dalam beb reason dia. Sentap. Aku kadang nak derma pun pikir bajet macam², beli benda yg tah apa. Hari ni Allah hantar bangla je jentik hati aku 😊
— iR (@elvierra26) February 15, 2019
This is a translation of the viral tweets by @elvierra26 which reached 36,000 retweets.
After Friday prayers, a bunch of us were leaving the Mosque. I saw a Bangladeshi man take out his wallet to donate some money. When it was my turn, I peeked into the contents of his wallet.
I saw a RM50 note and a RM5 note. He took the RM5 note and put it in his pocket and he slipped the RM50 note into the donation box.
RM200 donation on a RM2,000 salary
After that, @elvierra26 bumped into the Bangladeshi man again on his way to work. He was wondering if he realised him watching him earlier.
He asked the Bangladeshi man how could he afford to give a RM50 donation when it could buy him a week of food.
The Bangladeshi man explained that he earns RM70 a day and that he donates RM50 each week, totalling to RM200 a month.
This was his reasoning:
“God gave me hands and legs to work and earn money. What more, I ask God to take care of my family at home. This RM50 is repayment.”
He wowed @elvierra26 with his reasoning. He says:
Even when I want to donate, I need to check my budget. Even then, I spend more on unnecessary things. God must have sent this Bangladeshi man to change me.
Netizens were reflective
Some netizens remarked how even as a local, they’ve never come close to donating RM50.
Others were reflecting on their experiences meeting foreigners. Some knew of Bangladeshi’s who would take extra time off work, leading RM40 pay cuts every week, to go for Friday prayers.
One remarked how as a Grab driver, she realises that they would be the ones to give the most tips.
Sometimes all it takes is one fated encounter and a viral tweet to open our minds and hearts to those invisible around us.
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