Appeal for lighting up a Ranau village

Appeal for lighting up a Ranau village

Appeal for lighting up a Ranau village

Public Appeal

To raise fund for a hydro project that can bring light to a remote village in the interior of Sabah, Kg Pakolen, Ranau-some 5 hours drive from the state capital Kota Kinabalu. The hydro project is aimed at generating 7.5kw to cater for 20 houses in the marginalised village. Since most urbanites will complain loudly even if we suffer black out for a few minutes we hope that you can feel for the deprivation of these villagers who have to live with it for decades!

Villagers’ Effort

Some of the villagers had tried to design and install their own hydro -but failed to go beyond providing for a few houses and for limited time of the day. They therefore request outside help-which we responded. up to 1/3 of Borneo’s villagers live without lighting from main grid electric supply.

Progress of Project

We have conducted 2 recce trips to collect data on the water source and the villagers so far. We have come out with a design, a budget-and now it is time to raise the fund so we can purchase the material needed, fabricate the hydro machine, and pay for logistics to send material to the village. We call upon all caring Malaysians to help us bring light to these dark villages around the country-so, in the long term, all citizens are able to access this very basic amenity!

How you can help:

1. Donation

The budget for the project is RM45k. It will only take 500 donors to chip in Rm90.00 each to reach the target! Let’s start from today! To donate please bank into our official account:

Lightup Borneo PLT; Public Bank, Account number: 3182753709

We will update readers of the collection daily to keep you updated on our progress!

2. Volunteer

You are welcome to volunteer for the full 4 day installation or part of it to join villagers in:

  • Providing labor(installing pipes, wiring), villagers will not be enough to handle the job by themselves;
  • Provide logistic support. eg transport, cooking etc;
  • Do documentation etc.
  • We can pick up volunteers who fly in at KKIA airport. We will transport volunteers from KK or Ranau to go to the village and return.
    Accommodation will be at a small community hall, a couple of villagers’ house and camping.
    Meals will be provided to volunteers – but volunteers need to take turn to cook or form a cooking team.
    What to bring for volunteers: sleeping bag, raincoat, warm cloth, tracking shoes, insect repellent, torch light, power banks/batteries.

    3. Promotion

    Feel free to repost/share/forward this appeal to all your friends/social media so that we can beat the deadline to raise the fund needed to purchase the material/pay logistics for the project!We hope that Malaysians can come together to further our campaign to bring light to dark communities around the country.

    Light for all! All for light!

    Enq. lightupborneo2013@gmail.com

    Blueair unveils revamped product range

    Blueair unveils revamped product range

    Blueair unveils revamped new classic product range, better performing, sleeker and with clean air intelligence inside.

    First unveiled during the IFA Berlin2015 tech show the much anticipated revamped Classic range is now available in Malaysia since April 2017.

    Complete with a new built-in intelligent air monitoring system called ‘Aware’, a more convenient user interface, improved clean air delivery rates, and new design features enabling improved airflow and quieter operation to ensure that your home is safe from pollutants.

    The World Health Organization (WHO) reported that Europe’s air pollution cost in 2010 alone is a staggering 1.6 trillion US dollars, as a result of the approximately 600,000 deaths and diseases it caused.

    “Blueair’s new technology puts people in control of the air they breathe and makes healthy living and improved well being as effortless as having a robot vacuum cleaner. The Blueair Classic minimizes triggers for people who suffer from allergies and asthma by cleaning indoor air from 99.97 percent of all pollutants, which is great news for our customers and those they care for,”

    said Karin Kruse, Global Product Marketing Manager

    In a report, the WHO estimated that about 7 million people worldwide died as a result of air pollution exposure in 2012 alone. South-East Asia and the Western Pacific areas are the regions in which health is most affected by air pollution, with approximately 3.3 million deaths linked to indoor air pollution and 2.6 million to outdoor air pollution.

    Concentrations of many samples of air contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) which are also consistently higher indoors than outdoors. An EPA study covering six communities in various parts of the US found indoor VOC levels up to 10 times higher than outdoors, even in locations with significant outdoor air pollution sources, such as petrochemical plants.

    The Blueair Classic air purifier has been designed to protect you and your family from deadly pollutants inside your home.

    The enhanced features of the new Classic also includes a more energy-efficient motor as well as a user-friendly interface under a top lid that flips open to reveal the electronic display indicating when a filter needs changing, a WiFi indicator, operating speed indicator and indicators showing levels of PM2.5 dust and VOCs (volatile organic chemicals) in the indoor air.

    “The new edition of the Blueair Classic reflects our commitment in leveraging connected home opportunities to make it easier for homeowners and businesses alike to benefit from cleaner, healthier air as they move through their day,”

    said Karin Kruse.

    She said the enhancements and benefits offered by Blueair’s latest iteration of its Classic product line reflects customer insight that air purifiers should be mobile, non-intrusive and capable of working while a person sleeps, jogs, eats, works, prepares food or reads a magazine while commuting.

    In a nutshell, Blueair’s Classic air purifiers are easy to configure, easy to maintain, and perform excellently. It is a no-brainer choice for air purifiers currently offered in the market. Blueair offers a literal plug and play solution that is essential for all homes and indoor spaces. The New Classic product line now comes with 6 different models to match all space requirements and easily available throughout nation via 43 different locations.

    Visit Blueair to learn more how to breath better

    Learn More

    The Malaysian Education Dilemma

    The Malaysian Education Dilemma

    The Malaysian Education Dilemma

    Malaysian teaching methods have changed little since the establishment of the Penang Free school in 1816, with students still sitting in classrooms with pencils and pads of paper, writing what teachers tell them to.

    The stagnation of our teaching methods has led to the lack of innovation amongst students and teachers in the country.

    The turn of the millennium has led to countless technological innovations. In the past 10 years, social, transportational, industrial, and administrative technologies have grown by leaps and bounds.

    But for some reason, there has been no significant technological change in the teaching methods of Malaysian education in the past century. Education, seen to be one of the most important foundations of a developing country, has effectively been put on hold.

    Studies have shown that technology and media can enhance early childhood practice when integrated into the environment, curriculum, and daily routines.

    This is because the use of technology contributes to the stimulation of the brain during early childhood, making information easily understandable and entertaining.

    The same study also found that technology is an effective tool for dual language learners because it provides features that allow students to practice secondary languages which they would otherwise not be able to do outside their classrooms. Useful in a bi-lingual society such as Malaysia.

    The lack of development of the local education system becomes apparent when we compare ourselves to the advanced teaching technology that some Western European and Asian countries have been using for years.

    Countries such as the Netherlands, have incorporated technology into their education system and since been ranked one of the top ten performing countries in science, math and reading scores.

    South Korea, another country that topped the lists, incorporates projectors and electronic flashcards into all their public schools. Singapore, our neighbour and the country that took first place in the Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) rankings, provides laptops for public school students.

    Malaysia on the other hand, came in at a dismal 52 out of 76 ranked countries on the Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development’s education quality list.

    Another study focusing on mathematics and science showed Malaysia scoring 465 in mathematics and 471 in science. Other nations worldwide have scored an average of 500 points.

    There have, of course, been attempts by the Malaysian government to bring local public schools into the 21st century, such as 1Bestari Net which aimed to provide 4G connectivity to 10,000 schools. However, the government contract, slated to run up a cost of RM4.077 billion over the course of 15 years, has since been described by the Public Accounts Committee to be “failed”.

    Since then, private companies have been taking matters into their own hands and crafted their own education models designed for early childhood development. One of these companies is Eduspec.

    In an age where digital literacy has become a mandatory job skill, Eduspec emphasizes on guiding early childhood educators and students in the use, integration, and evaluation of technology.

    Eduspec has launched three main courses in Malaysia so far, computational thinking, robotics and coding for primary schoolers. The programs have been crafted with the consultation of experts on early childhood education from Carnegie Mellon University.

    Has the Malaysian education system come to a point where we must rely on private companies to bring it into the future?

    Huawei improves on the perfect with the P10

    Huawei improves on the perfect with the P10

    Huawei improves on the perfect with the P10

    The P10 defies the odds by improving on what was already great in the P9

    Huawei’s P10 has managed to surpass its predecessor by improving on what was already one of the best smartphones on the market.

    Huawei’s trademark spin in their smartphone designs comes by adding their own touch to the technology that already exists in mobile engineering landscape, for example, Huawei does not only implement android technology like some other smartphone makers do, but incorporates their EMUI 5.1 software that features machine learning. Huawei also makes their own chipsets from scratch and was the first smartphone maker to seriously consider incorporating dual lens photography at a high-performance level.

    The new P10 now builds on that existing technology by upgrading the monochrome sensor on the rear camera from the original 12MP to the current 20MP on the P10. Huawei’s newest flagship product will also be the first smartphone to feature the company’s lossless zoom, a technology developed by Huawei that enables digital zoom without loss of quality.

    A huge advancement for the device is Huawei’s implementation of optical image stabilisation (OIS) which will prevent blurry pictures caused by shakiness by compensating for the movement of the device.

    The P9’s Leica engineered dual lens was a pioneering idea that has since been mimicked by the likes of its competitors such as Apple in its iPhone 7 plus and Samsung, who has also reportedly experimented with implementing the technology into their new S8 model during its prototyping stages, but opted not to install it in its final design.

    The front camera has also undergone an upgrade and now features a Leica co-engineered 8 MP front facing lens. The device also features “portrait mode” which automatically adjusts the lighting to ensure high quality selfies. The P10’s new “adaptive selfie” feature on the front camera also automatically detects when there is more than one person in the shot. It will then change the camera’s settings to take a wide angled picture if the phone feels that it needs to.

    Despite the main selling point of the P10 being its camera, the device does not lose out to its competitors in other departments. The P10 plus packs a large 3750 mAh battery while the P10 packs a 3200 mAh batter, both support supercharge that enables fast charging. Compared to another similar device on the market, the S8 only measures to 3000mAh, the same size as Huawei’s 2016 P9.

    Battery Capacity (mAH), Higher is batter

    Android 7.0 Nougat

    The Android 7.0 Nougat runs alongside Huawei’s EMUI 5.1 which has implemented machine learning into the smartphone’s software. According to Huawei, EMUI 5.1 will be able to gauge how its user operates the device and adapt to him or her, increasing its overall operating efficiency. Because of this, Huawei says that the P10 will run faster a year after purchase than if it were fresh out of the box.  

    New Processor

    The P10 also packs Huawei’s newest processor, the octa-core Kirin 960 CPU. The Huawei made chipset slaps around its competitors in multi-core efficiency tests scoring above the likes of Samsung, Qualcomm and the iPhone’s A10 chip.

    Huawei’s P10 has also improved its display and increased the pixel density of the device, measuring at 432 PPto 424 PPI on the Huawei P9. It’s also improved on its screen’s durability with its Gorilla Glass 5 screeI compared n instead of the old third generation Gorilla screens on the P9.

    Putting another cherry on top of this device is the hyper diamond cut finishing that’s anti- fingerprint, anti-scratch and anti- slip.

    The Huawei P10 is currently available in black and gold. Two new coloured models, blue and green, will be released on the 5th of May

    *Pantone coloured P10, blue and green are available on 5th May.
    Pantone coloured P10 Plus will be available within this month.

    The newest generation of Huawei’s flagship line has surpassed all expectations of the company and if this is the benchmark with which we can set as an outlook to the company’s future products, the world of mobile phones looks brighter than ever.

    For more information , visit our website.

    Learn more

    Following the money on lucrative illegal Indo-M’sia maid trade

    Following the money on lucrative illegal Indo-M’sia maid trade

    Following the money on lucrative illegal Indo-M’sia maid trade

    Malaysiakini & Tempo, 25 April 2017

    Ten months after she ran away from home, Yufrinda Selan eventually returned a day before her 19th birthday. But it wasn’t tears of joy that greeted her.

    Yufrinda’s family howled as her body, wrapped in a shroud, arrived in a white coffin at their hometown in Batu Putih, East Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia.

    Her father, Mentusalak Selan, did not dare to open the wooden box as it bore another name – Melinda Sapay.

    False document / PIX Gamaliel

    “I was scared of making a mistake,” Mentusalak said when met earlier this month.

    It was only after a provincial officer from Indonesia’s Migrant Workers Placement and Protection Body showed Yufrinda’s photo that Metusalak was willing to open the coffin. His daughter was inside.

    Yufrinda was born on July 15, 1997. On her birthday last year, local police lifted the lid on her coffin, which was kept at a hospital mortuary.

    Her family members identified her from a mole on her leg. But they were also shocked as there were stitches all over her body and bruises on her face.

    “They said she hung herself and died at the home of her employer in Malaysia,” Mentusalak (photo) said.

    Based on investigations by the police in Kupang, the provincial capital of East Nusa Tenggara, Yufrinda was recruited by a local human trafficking network that also involved experts in forging travel documents.

    They identified former police officer Eduard Leneng and Diana Aman, who owned two private manpower agencies – PT Pancamanah Utama and PT Jaya Abadi – as individuals responsible for recruiting and sending Yufrinda to Malaysia.

    Both of them were charged with various related offences earlier this month.

    According to the charge sheet, Eduard was involved in forging Yufrinda’s documents, before she was handed over to Diana.

    Met early last December, Eduard denied any involvement in human trafficking activities. “I have never dealt with the people who recruited Yufrinda,” he said.

    Diana and her lawyer Edwin Manurung, on the other hand, reserved their comments. “For the meantime, no comments,” said Edwin.

    Not the only maid to return as corpse

    Yufrinda’s end is not an isolated case. Official Indonesian statistics from last year revealed that 33 migrant workers from the province returned home as corpses, including from Malaysia.

    “Until today, trafficking of migrants from NTT to Malaysia is still rampant,” said Melki Musu, a coordinator for a local human trafficking watchdog.

    East Nusa Tenggara is Indonesia’s southernmost province and most commonly referred to by the initials for its Indonesian name, Nusa Tenggara Timur or NTT.

    Kupang district police chief Adjie Indra revealed that there have been more than 2,200 migrant workers from across NTT – spanning more than 500 islands across 48,718.1 square kilometres of land and sea – who have fallen victim to human trafficking syndicates over the last two years.

    The figure was obtained from witness statements and suspects interrogated by the police. “There are at least seven human trafficking networks based in NTT,” Adjie said.

    He noted that police have yet to crack down on all of the networks. “It will be done in stages,” he added.

    According to Adjie, some of the human trafficking networks are funded by maid services and manpower agencies in Malaysia. “Their modus operandi is the same and it involves a big man in Malaysia.”

    Money trail from Malaysia to Indonesia recruiters

    Joint investigations into the human trafficking trail involving players in East Nusa Tenggara in Medan and Malaysia by Malaysiakini and Tempo started in September last year.

    Their crossing paths could clearly be traced from records of their transactions between January 2015 and August last year. Almost as thick as a ream of paper, it details the flow of nearly RM1 million from Malaysia to NTT, meant for recruiting workers.

    The largest transactions were from a woman named Oey Wenny Gotama.

    For one year, from August 2015, records showed that Oey Wenny had transferred at least RM646,000, or nearly two million rupiah, to Seri Safkini, owner of PT Cut Sari Asih – an Indonesian recruitment agency based in Medan, Sumatera.

    On June 28 last year, Oey Wenny transferred RM28,000, recorded as “deposit for five TKW”. TKW is the acronym for tenaga kerja wanita or female workers, while TKI refers to tenaga kerja Indonesia, meaning both male and female workers.

    Seri Safkini then distributed the money to her contacts in NTT. One recipient was identified as Yohanes Leonardus Ringgi, a security officer at Kupang’s El Tari Airport. There were 155 transactions over a 12-month period beginning August 2015, amounting to RM600,000 according to present exchange rates.

    Yohanes Ringgi was met on three separate occasions, while behind bars after his arrest last November, for alleged human trafficking offences. Reluctant to speak at first, he finally opened up on the human trafficking networks in NTT on the third meeting.

    He admitted to receiving orders to recruit potential domestic helpers to be sent to Malaysia, from Eduard Leneng and Diana Aman, among others. Yohanes Ringgi also named Seri Safkini.

    “They will send me money,” he said.

    According to records of the transactions, the amount he received from Diana and Eduard was more than RM83,000.

    Having worked as an airport security officer for 16 years, Yohanes Ringgi’s other duty was to ensure that potential workers would pass through all immigration checks. He admitted to have sent more than 400 workers to Malaysia from Medan and Surabaya. “For every one worker I will get 500,000 rupiah”.

    Runaway teens enticed by making big bucks

    Even children were not spared. Tempo met with Damaris Nifu and Jeni Maria Tekun, two underaged workers who Yohanes tried smuggle out. The duo were questioned by Kupang’s district police.

    Both of them have received primary school education. They were not even 16 years old when first approached by Yanto and Mama Nona, two of Yohanes‘ underlings who were arrested sometime in mid-2015.

    They ran away from home after being lured with a three million rupiah monthly salary – at a time when the local minimum wage was only 1.25 million rupiah. They were then kept at PT Cut Sari Asih’s office.

    “We were harshly treated. Some were beaten and kicked,” recalled Jeni. Damaris and Jeni were later sent to Banda Acheh, but they eventually fled after being mistreated by their employers.

    For children like Damaris and Jeni, their journey must start by creating a “new identity” – primarily to meet the legal employment age.

    In Malaysia, a domestic helper candidate must be at least 21, while those employed in other sectors can be as young as 18.

    Before departing for Medan, the two girls were furnished with forged identification cards.

    All that was needed to do this was rudimentary graphic design skills and a computer equipped with Adobe Photoshop. The maker was a local university student named Sipri Talan who has connections with a number of labour recruiters.

    “For every single fake KTP (identification card) I will get 100,000 rupiah (about RM30),” Sipri said when met in his detention cell at the Kupang district police station.

    The new ID was then used to make their passports. The next step, according to Yohanes, would involve collusion with immigration officers in charge of issuing new passports.

    The passport belonging to Yufrinda Selan, who died in Malaysia – issued under the name Melinda Sapay – was made by Godstar Mozes Banik, an immigration officer at Kupang’s El Tari airport.

    This was according to the charge sheet against Eduard. Godstar, however, denied his role in abetting traffickers to produce the migrant workers’ passports. “Everything was done according to procedure,” he said.

    Yufrinda’s case has been an important lesson for the Indonesian Immigration Department, the country’s Immigration director-general Ronny Franky Sompie said. “We will be more vigilant when dealing with passport applications,” he said.

    M’sian employers paying double the set recruitment fee

    Meanwhile, in Bandar Puchong Jaya, Selangor, a large yellow sign marks the entrance to the company NG Bersatu. The company’s name is written in capital letters and promotes its services as a “maid supplier”. There is an accompanying image of a woman in uniform while holding a toddler, both of them smiling.

    The main office is located on the first floor. At the back of its spacious working area, there is a small room. A double-decker bed takes up most of the available space there. There is no window and only a fan.

    The room is where Sarlin Agustina Djingib was taken to in August 2015, after she arrived in Malaysia. The migrant worker from East Nusa Tenggara was recruited by a human trafficking network involving Yohanes Ringgi.

    At the time, she was still a teenager and below the legal employment age of 21. “All of my fake documents were made by Yohanes’ underlings,” Sarlin told police officers from Kupang, who recorded her statement at the Indonesian Embassy in Kuala Lumpur last December.

    From her hometown in NTT, Sarlin was flown to Batam, an Indonesian province a short boat ride away from Johor. The journey of more than 3,800km would have taken her about seven hours, based on available flight details, including transit time in Surabaya or Jakarta. There is no direct flight between the two provinces.

    In Batam, Sarlin was met by Angellin Wijaya, the daughter of Seri Safkini, owner of PT Cut Sari Asih. “Angellin sent me to the Batam Centre port to cross over into Johor Bahru,” she said.

    An unidentified man then drove her the entire five-hour journey to NG Bersatu’s office in Puchong.

    After staying one night in the room, Sarlin said she was picked up by her employer, Madam Jasmin. “I paid RM19,000 to NG Bersatu,” said Jasmin who accompanied Sarlin to the Indonesian Embassy in Kuala Lumpur.

    The cost is more than double the RM8,400 recruitment fee agreed upon by both governments. And until today, Sarlin still does not have a valid work permit.

    Click on the arrow below to follow Sarlin’s journey Malaysia in the interactive map below, or click here to view the map.

    Malaysian recruiter unaware maids underaged

    Kupang police also recorded Oey Wenny Goetama’s statement at the embassy, in connection with investigations into the human trafficking network that snared Sarlin.

    Oey Wenny claimed to represent NG Bersatu. “I don’t know anything about human trafficking,” she said when met at the embassy last December, before rushing off. Oey Wenny also denied channelling funds for the recruitment of potential workers.

    NG Bersatu’s manager, Ng Jing Hao, however contradicted Wenny.

    “She handles our suppliers (Indonesian agencies). We pay her and she passes on the money to agencies in Indonesia,” Ng said when met at his office on March 15. However, he declined to reveal the exact amount that has been channelled to Indonesia.

    Ng also insisted that he has never broken any Malaysian laws related to recruitment and placement of migrant workers. “We don’t take underaged workers. We go according to their passports.”

    Ng said he wouldn’t know if any of them were underaged. “So far when they come into Malaysia through the immigration process, they all have no problems. Their fingerprints are all okay,” he said.

    “If the maid is underaged, we don’t want them,” he stressed.

    He admitted that NG Bersatu had a brief partnership with PT Cut Sari Asih “quite long” ago. But Sarlin was not one of the recruits.

    “She came to Malaysia via another agent. We just helped her to find an employer,” said Ng who also admitted to taking a cut from Jasmin’s payment.

    Repeated attempts to obtain a response from Seri Safkini and her daughter Angellin Wijaya were unsuccessful.

    Their house (photo) at a high-end neighbourhood in West Jakarta appeared to be deserted. The local security guard later confirmed that both women were no longer staying in the house, which was also used as a shelter for recruited workers.

    In Medan, another shelter that belonged to the Cut Sari Asih firm was similarly empty, after a raid by local police in August last year. The main gate to the two-storey house has been chained.

    Seri Safkini is also a fugitive. According to Kupang district police chief Adjie Indra, the firm has sent at least 251 workers, who ended up as undocumented immigrants in Malaysia.

    A young ‘Datuk’ businessman

    Back in NTT, another former recruiter admitted to receiving funds from Malaysia. The recruiter, Kobar, admitted he once sent six workers to a Malaysian named Albert Tei. “For each worker, I received 21 million rupiah,” said Kobar who was once detained for human trafficking. Besides Kobar, two manpower agency managers from Indonesia, and several others from Malaysia, also identified Tei as a major recruiter of Indonesian migrant workers. Tei is the general manager of ManPower88, a consortium of eight maid agencies. The 29-year-old, who holds the Datuk title, is also the owner of Maxim Birdnest, a factory based in Klang. A labour attache at the Indonesian Embassy in Kuala Lumpur, Mustafa Kamal, revealed that he once questioned Tei on the number of workers he would bring in every month. According to Mustafa, Tei had admitted that he could “import” up to 100 Indonesian workers a month. “That is a very large number,” Mustafa added. By comparison, Malaysian National Association of Employment Agencies (Pikap) president Raja Zulkepley Dahalan said his members typically only recruit 20 workers a month. One of those brought to Malaysia from NTT is Seravina Dahu. Showed a picture of Tei, when met at her son’s home in Oesapa, Kupang, Seravina identified him as “my former boss”. Seravina, who is now a farmer, said that she never had a permit while working in Malaysia. “There were many others from NTT at Tei’s shelter, and the majority of them did not have proper documents,” she said. She also recounted how she often worked for more than 12 hours a day but was only given one meal: bread and plain water.

    Met at his factory in Klang (photo), Tei vehemently denied claims of mistreatment and employing Indonesian workers illegally. “I only deal with legal (documented) workers,” he stressed. “If any of them came in using fake documents, I wouldn’t know because that is the responsibility of the agencies in Indonesia.”

    Tei, who claimed to enjoy a close relationship with the police and immigration officers, also denied having recruited 100 workers a month.

    “The most is 70 or 80 workers and that, too, during the time when Malaysia’s economy was still good. Now the most would only be 30 workers,” he said.

    However, Tei admitted that he is known figure among labour recruiters in Indonesia.

    “If in one month I recruit 50 workers, in two years that would be 1,200 workers. So it’s not a surprise if they mention my name back in their villages,” he pointed out.

    In another conversation, he stressed he is unaware of irregularities in the recruitment process in Indonesia.

    “We follow Malaysian law. So long as they have a valid passport and passed their medical check-up, we (Malaysian agencies) will process them (for placement). We don’t have the right to check whether their passports are fake or whatever,” Tei said.

    All relevant documents, he explained, would also require endorsements from six parties – the Indonesian agency, Malaysian agency, the Indonesian Embassy in Kuala Lumpur, the Malaysian Labour Department, the maid and her employer.

    Immigration collusion

    There were some 1.2 million documented Indonesian workers in Malaysia as at the end of last year. But the Indonesian embassy’s labour attache estimates that the number of undocumented workers would be much higher. “The figure could be double,” Mustafa Kamal said.

    Undocumented Indonesian workers work in plantations, restaurants and as sex workers. One of them, who introduced herself as Anggun from Jakarta, based her “operations” along Petaling Street. Anggun said a majority of the women working as sex workers in the area are Indonesians. “I have only been here a month,” she said.

    Mustafa said both the Indonesian and Malaysian governments are facing difficulties to curb the flow of undocumented workers – and that one major factor is beyond their control. “There are some 150 hot spots along the countries’ borders that can be used as departure and entrance points for these workers,” he explained.

    In Borneo, the land boundary has a length of 2,019.5km and separates the Indonesian provinces of North Kalimantan, East Kalimantan and West Kalimantan from Sabah and Sarawak. There is, however, only one official immigration point on either side – at Entikong in Indonesia and Tebedu in Malaysia.

    The maritime boundaries between Indonesia and Malaysia, meanwhile, are located along four bodies of water – the Straits of Malacca, Straits of Singapore, South China Sea and Celebes Sea.

    Collusion between authorities at official immigration counters has further compounded the problem.

    At a popular nasi padang restaurant in Kuala Lumpur, two undocumented Indonesian workers – 28-year-old Ika Fatmawati and her cousin, 19-year-old Ines Nugraini – from Tangerang in Banten, West Java, shared how they arrived in Pasir Gudang, Johor, through Batam Centre port (photo) last Christmas.

    “We were instructed to walk through counter Number 3. We were told that we would be ‘safe’,” said Ika.

    Both of them only lasted two months working as cleaning service staff in Malacca. They never received their salary and were forbidden from leaving their hostel, unless they were heading to work. On Feb 22, they fled to Kuala Lumpur. “Now I feel free,” she said.

    Johor Immigration director Rohaizi Bahari did not respond to requests for comment.

    Ika’s fate is better than NTT native Yufrinda.

    To this day, her father Mentusalak remains in the dark over his daughter’s real cause of death as there have been no investigations on allegations of assault. “I am convinced she was murdered,” he said.

    Yufrinda’s employer, Conrad Wee, declined comment. “It was a very sad incident. I do not want to talk about it anymore,” Wee said, before driving out of his apartment building in Cheras (picture) where Yufrinda was said to have hung herself in the kitchen.

    Inquiries with the police did not yield further information. When contacted, Bukit Aman’s D7 Division principal assistant director SAC Rohaimi Md Isa merely said the case was discussed by authorities from both countries on a bilateral platform.

    “We have bilateral discussions with all neighbouring countries facing issues of human trafficking. It is for the purpose of facilitating investigations and enforcements,” Rohaimi said.

    However, Indonesian Migrant Workers Protection Task Force chief in Malaysia, Yusron B Ambary, said a request has been made to local authorities to probe Yufrinda’s case. “Only the Malaysian police have the power to investigate,” he said.

    In the meantime, Mentuselak Selan, Yufrinda’s father, continues to light a candle by his daughter’s grave – hoping for the spark that would reveal the truth.

    Reporting by Stefanus Teguh Edi Pramono and Yohanes Seo from Tempo and Alyaa Alhadjri from Malaysiakini.

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    A Gift

    // COMEDY / DRAMA / ROMANCE
    An intriguing romantic film, a four-director omnibus examining love in all its aspects. Using musical compositions by the late King of Thailand, three separate but related episodes, with titles drawn from the King’s compositions, are tied together by themes of love: romantic, familial, platonic and passionate. The film tells the story of 6 people who are trying to overcome challenges that life has thrown at them. The first episode features two people who are asked to act as a married ambassador couple at a scholarship award event despite not knowing each other. The second features a woman who quits her job to take care of her Alzheimer-ridden father who starts getting back his memories after she plays her mother`s favorite song on the piano. The final episode looks at a retired rocker who now works as a financial analyst, but is invited to join an amateur band with his co-workers.

    #2

    One Day

    // DRAMA / ROMANCE
    Denchai is a geeky 30-year-old IT officer whose existence is only acknowledged when his colleagues, who often forget his name, need tech support. His world is flipped upside down when he goes to fix a printer for a new girl in the marketing department named Nui. She gets his name correct, making him feel valued once again and from that moment, Denchai falls head over heels for Nui, but only admires her secretly from afar, since he knows that Nui is out of his league.
    Things take a strange turn while they are on a company outing in Hokkaido. Denchai makes a wish at the resort’s landmark Lucky ‘N Love Bell for Nui to be his girl for just one day. He may get his chance after she suffers an accident and is diagnosed with TGA, a rare temporary memory loss disorder which lasts for just one day. Denchai decides to tell Nui a lie: he is her boyfriend and they had plans to travel around Hokkaido together. Ethics aside, will Denchai get his dream girl, if only for just one day?

    #3

    Take Me Home

    // HORROR
    After losing his memory from an accident, Tan tried to find his identity. Eventually, he found something and led him back to his home sweet home. The more he knows them, the more he learns to fear of their secrets of his so-called family.

    #4

    The Crown

    // DRAMA
    A father, Satta, (Ekkachai Srivichai), who is almost blind, is a Manora dancer and leader. He gives high respect to the Manora crown. When he has to pass on his practices, he has serious arguments with his son, Sing, as he prefers guitar to Manora art and doesn’t want to be involved in the family’s heritage. The movie is directed by Ekkachai Srivichai who is a famous singer from the South of Thailand. His songs are often sad romances. His movie shows the great culture of Manora art and the Thai southern spirit deep rooted in the heart of the people.

    #5

    Mr Hurt

    // COMEDY / DRAMA / ROMANCE
    A perfect world champion tennis pro “Don Sri-Chang” (Sunny Suwanmethanont) who is an idol for everyone. He’s both lucky in game and lucky in love that his girlfriend is a superstar. Later, his girlfriend turned his marriage proposal down to date with a rock star. Don was left heartbroken. After having sunk into misery for months, his long-lost friend, “Dew” appears from nowhere and revives his paralyzed mind. Can this girl be the game changer in Don’s love life?

    Free Ticket Redemption

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    To redeem the free tickets, just present a printout or take a snapshot of any Thai Film Festival in Malaysia 2017 articles in any publication, online postings or GSC digital channels and you will be get two (2) complimentary tickets at GSC Pavilion KL, GSC Mid Valley or GSC 1Utama ticketing counters.

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