July 14, 2008: Continuing with our translation of the Radio Free Asia (RFA) article on the captive workers at Polar Twin Advance in Penang, we find the commentary of Hong, one of the workers, on the daily scramble for food.
Her comments reflect the fact that, as noted by Thanh Truc’s article, it’s hard for Vietnamese workers to go outside. This stems from the fact that Malaysian companies usually confiscate the workers’ passports, leaving them without personal identification to show to the police.
“When we’re out of rice, we all know that if we go outside and end up caught by the police, we’ll be jailed. But since we don’t have money to eat and we’re all suffering, we try to look out for each other. One of us will go wash dishes, another will go prepare fish for cooking, or clean houses or restrooms, in order to bring back rice for us to eat.”