KUALA LUMPUR: It’s about time someone spoke up about student trafficking, the Bangladeshi community said.

“All of us appreciate that R.AGE took this step to show what many Bangladeshi students go through,” said Bangladeshi Student Union Malaysia president Mohammad Ziaur Rahman Zia about the The Star’s R.AGE team’s Student/Trafficked documentary series.

The series highlights how aspiring students, including many Bangladeshis, were lured to Malaysia by promises of education but end up in a cycle of exploitation.

The Star had also printed messages in Bengali, the official language of Bangladesh, calling for solidarity with the trafficking victims.Abdul, a PhD student, hoped to see syndicates and colleges being hauled up, instead of students.

“I tell those back home not to come here unless they’re very rich. Agents are 99.99% fake,” he said.

Mohd Hafizuddin, a bartender, said he wished the series had been launched before he came here.

He paid RM15,000 to an agent to enrol for a diploma in Multimedia Applications, and only later realised the college was a sham.

“If I knew it would be like this, I wouldn’t have come,” he said.

R.AGE launched a reporting system, which allows victims and concerned citizens to report such cases to the Higher Education Ministry.

Construction worker Jahagir Alam remained pessimistic.

“I tell them agents will cheat them, but nobody in Bangladesh believes me.”

Read the full Student/Trafficked story here.


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