At least 1 in every 4 workers in Malaysia is a foreigner. Migrants have become an essential part of the country’s economic growth and productivity. Malaysia is also a country of refuge for tribes and nations from all over the world. However, despite their longing for a better country, migrant workers and refugees have not found an easy life. Malaysia’s laws, policies, and practices create an environment of vulnerability for both these groups in different ways. Unlike Malaysians, they are at a legal, social, and political disadvantage.
The reality of life in Malaysia leaves many migrants and refugees disappointed by the hopes they had of a better life. Migrant workers are vulnerable to exploitation and cheating. Because they are not given legal status, refugees are often arrested, detained in poor conditions, punished through imprisonment and whipping, and then deported.
Featuring photographs of migrants and refugees with stories that underscore their plight, Disappointed by Hope: Migrants and Refugees in Search of a Better Country is a call to compassion and action so that migrants and refugees are better protected from violence, abuse, and injustice.
Photographs by Jonathan Kwok
Stories by Andrew Kooman
Reflections by Melanie Hurlbut
with a Foreword by Ambassador Dato’ Dennis Ignatius Former High Commissioner of Malaysia to Canada
Full colour; 64 pages; 6.5 x 9 inches