A Bangladeshi Cleaner Who Has Worked At Klang Parade For 27 Years Shares His Story

He is the oldest among his crew.

Cover image via Humans of Kuala Lumpur

Earlier this week, a photo story posted on the Facebook page of Humans of Kuala Lumpur has gone viral

The photo story of a Bangladeshi man named Abu Bakar, who has given his 27 years to Malaysia while working as a cleaner at Klang Parade.

It was captured by Ariel Chew when Klang Parade won the Klang's Cleanest Public Toilet (Mall) 2018 award by Majlis Perbandaran Klang (MPK).

The Bangladeshi worker's story, which shows the great personal sacrifices he has made while being away from his family, has touched thousands of Malaysians.

70-year-old Abu Bakar.

Image via Humans of Kuala Lumpur

The photo story, which was posted on Friday, 29 March, has so far received 39,000 Reactions with over 12,000 shares

While narrating his journey in the first person, the 70-year-old cleaner explains how he left his homeland 27 years ago, leaving behind his entire family to come to Malaysia so he could make a living for his family back home.

Ever since he came to Malaysia, he hasn't gone back once, he said.

"I left my homeland Bangladesh 27 years ago when my fifth child was just six months old. I haven't returned since. I miss my family and they miss me too. But this is for them.

"All of this is for their future.

"I came to Malaysia because I heard there were plenty of jobs here. Even if it is just doing jobs that no one else wants to do, I'll do it," Abu Bakar told HOKL.

I've been doing it seven days a week, 365 days a year for the past 27 years. I haven't once taken a day of sick leave or even an off day. And I'm still going strong, insha'Allah.
Abu Bakar.

Abu Bakar says that he sends most of his earnings back to his family in Bangladesh as his needs in KL are simple

I wake up, I bathe, I have my breakfast, I go to work, I come back, I talk to my family back home over the phone, I rest and it's the same thing the next day, and the day after that. I have made some good friends here, too.
Abu Bakar.

Later this year, Abu is finally going back to Bangladesh

"This December I will be going home for good and finally see my family again. It will be the first time I'll see my two grandchildren too. I can hardly wait," he said, adding that he is thankful for what kids have achieved in life back in Bangladesh.

"One of my daughters is now a judge, another is a doctor and my son is an engineer."

The post's comment section is filled with thousands of Malaysians expressing gratitude for Abu Bakar's sacrifices

Among them, one of the most liked comments by a netizen named Mogan Selvakannu highlights the lack of worker's welfare and rights in the country.

"A standard "feel good" story we Malaysians love to consume.

"Yet what's alarming here, in my honest opinion, is the lack of worker's welfare and rights that he deserves but did not receive. I understand that it was and is his choice (or lack of choice) but the fact that he was allowed to work every day for 27 years is slavery.

"27 years of his life he will never get back because of the systems imposed on him.

"Local authorities and his employers have robbed him off his rights to live at least a minimum standard of living. At the end of the day, all we do is thank him for his service through Facebook, to feed our ego or need to "feel good"?" read the comment by Mogan Selvakannu, which at the time of writing has over 1.3k Reactions.

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