From the corner of my eye I catch a glimpse of a figure through an open doorway. A man bent over is shuffling uncomfortably forwards, leaning heavily on a woman as he moves slowly towards his room.
My friend, sat beside me, leans in and confides in a quiet voice: “That’s my neighbour. Her husband fell from the worksite a few days ago. Now he cannot walk and cannot work.”
I met the couple later and learned that the man, just 20 years old, had fallen three floors on a worksite, breaking his knee. His leg is in a full plaster cast and he has numerous other aches and pains.
Refugees don’t have the right to work in Malaysia, so they are poorly treated and are often exploited at work. There is no insurance or state welfare for health issues or accidents, leaving people reliant on the goodwill of the community. Not working also means that he cannot send money to support his family in Bangladesh; one of the reasons he made the journey to Malaysia in the first place.
It is hard not to feel anger about the many injustices this couple face. The construction companies enjoy increased profits from cheap labour, but offer little in return. Health and safety is often seen as an unnecessary expense. There will be no police enquiry into the accident or financial support for this man as his leg slowly heals.
Before I left, I had the opportunity to pray with the couple, asking God to bless the husbands body and his family. In place of despair we choose to believe that our God is close to the broken-hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. (Ps 34:18)
Please pray for:
- full recovery for the man, and that he knows the healing and provision of Father God.
- other families in Malaysia suffering injustice and sickness. That they can call out in prayer and hear His merciful response.
- employers that love mercy and act justly.
- changes to the law to make unfair practices unacceptable.