Sunday, December 5, 2010

A true sad story of two refugees' friendship

Mr.Thang was a very sociable boy. He was also a very bright and sincere boy. He has been in Malaysia for 3 years already. He was good in Malaysian language. He worked in Chinese restaurant near KL Centre. He was recognized as refugee status in UNHCR Malaysia. One early morning, Mr. Thang woke up with bad dream. In his dream, a snake with sharp teeth was biting at his right leg. He wondered about what his dream may mean as he was a believer of dreams. Indeed, he was not only a believer in dreams but also in astrology. He used to visit fortune teller several times until he fled Burma due to his activism in democracy and freedom against the Junta. That‟s why he kept thinking about his dream in which the snake with very sharp teeth bit him. Unfortunately, he could not get any idea about the meaning of his dream since he never had had such dream before. While thinking deeply about it on his bed, the alarm clock rang to wake him up and prepare to go work. Actually, he wanted to switch it off but he understood that he needed to go to the work for his survival because there was nobody to support him in Malaysia. He got up with sleepy face. After having a shower, he lazily took his small bag hanging on the wall and went quickly out to wait for the bus near his rented flat. He yawned many times at the bus stand. A few minutes later, the bus came and he boarded it. While he sat on the bus, a timid young girl took the bus and looked for a seat around him. But no empty seat was there for her. Accidentally, their eyes met and they seemed to understand each other. He asked her "Excuse me, my name is Thang, which country are you from?" "I am from Burma, my name is Rebecca, and you?" she replied. "I am also from Burma, I am very glad to meet you here" he said. "I am glad to meet you, too" she said. Rebecca seemed very worried of him because she was told often that there were a lot of liars, thieves and robbers in Malaysia. ,Thang offered his seat to her while Rebecca tried to move a little further away. "Hello Rebecca, please take a seat here" Thang offered. "I am fine. Thank you" she said. But Thang kept asking her to sit in front of the other passengers. "If you do not take a seat here, Malaysian guys may wonder why you are standing. They may think that I am not a gentleman! So please take a seat" Thang asked gently. And then she took a seat with a smile." Thank you, Thang" she expressed her thank to him. Rebecca was not good in communicating with others. She has arrived Malaysia in 2008 due to her religious persecution in Burma. She was not recognized yet as a refugee, but she has a Chin refugee community card that could not protect her from being arrested by police. Indeed, her community card was not too useful but she held it on as being a human identity.

While they were on the bus and having a nice talk, a highway bus knocked into their bus, causing two passengers to be injured. Due to this accident, there was a traffic jam. Three police cars and an ambulance headed very fast to the accident place. When they got there, policemen carried two injured passengers into the ambulance. They checked the driver‟s license and arrested him. And then, all passengers were asked to get down and to show their IC. Rebecca was so afraid of being to be arrested. Her legs and hands were shivering. Her face became white from red due to fear. Tears filled her eyes. "Thang, will they arrest us" she asked with breathless tone. "Do not worry… Rebecca; they will not arrest us, although we do not have passports because we are refugees," he comforted her. "Come down faster; come down faster "a police shouted roughly to them. Thang and Rebecca got down from the bus. When policeman asked them to show passports, they showed their refugee cards. The policeman told them that no refugee in Malaysia, and then he handcuffed both of them immediately. When they were forced to enter into police car, Rebecca cried sadly. "Thang , I am afraid of going to Jail, I do not want to go there, help me please" she cried. "Don'cry, don't worry too much; we will be released soon" he told. While he comforted her like this, the police car reached the police station. As a policeman asked them to get out from the car at police station; Rebecca cried with fear. Her tears dropped on Thang„s chest. Though they were ordered to be out, Rebecca still cried helplessly in police car. Thang had no idea except praying. A policewoman pulled her out from the car and brought her to the Jail. While she was brought to the Jail, Thang kept looking at her. Just before she went into the Jail, she turned her head back to Thang and cried "Thang! Help me please, I am afraid of Jail" While Thang said "Don't worry, Rebecca!" , a policeman kicked and shouted at him "Who allowed you to talk to her, go fucker in the Jail" A few months later, Thang was released after his friend paid RM 700 to police. Thang tried hardly to get information about Rebecca, but the information what he got was that Rebecca did not have friend who could pay RM 700 for her release from the Jail so she was deported to Thailand border where human traffickers make money through refugee sale with the cooperation of corrupt immigration and police officers. Since she was deported to Thailand border, no news was known about her fate.