HERE is my beautiful Story……..
I’m Saw Ler Moo (not his real name) Karen ethnic and Christian , both of my parents were also ethnic , my mother was Karen . My Father was a Buddhist and my mother was a Christian. All of my 4 siblings are Christians as well.
My mother was a gazetted Nurse, recognized by the British Nursing Board of England at that time. But she was sacked by the Authorities after our Independence a few years later. My Father continued in his position as Government Servant till he retired.
After I passed my Matriculation, I joined the Institute of Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Science which normally takes 7 years. When I was in Final Part of One, all civilians staged anti Government protests following the Nation wide Pro-democracy uprising, which took place on 8th of August 1988. I was still studying at that time and we students gathered and founded student Organizations in each respective University.
We all came back home because all the Universities and Schools were forced to close. Then, I gathered again with students from Universities all over our Country at Rangoon General Hospital, in Rangoon. Later, I was elected as Representative of my Institute and kept on organizing with others to achieve true Democracy.
Since then the Military government has been trying to arrest especially University and College Students who have been involving in such Activities day and night. Whoever was arrested and sent to special places couldn’t be as normal as those who were lucky to get back home. They used so many kinds of torture, abusive acts, cruel Interrogation enough to lead a person to ruin.
One evening, the Military Intelligent personnel came to me and brought me to their place for Investigation. There were many youngsters, probably College and University Students and they locked me in together with them. They commanded us to do Squat Position naked and placed with a burning candle just above our anus every night.
Slapping, kicking, beating with rifle buds as was everyone else, without food and water for almost 3 days were a horrible experience in my life. Proper medication, supplies, accommodations were out of question for us. We were without contact with home. Some perished during their Interrogation; some became deformed, lost their memories, some so aggressive looks and lost their routine.
I was released after 5 days. Nothing was received from me. Before they released me, I was forced to sign an agreement not to involve in any activities like demonstrations or gatherings. They would be totally illegal anytime. This was because I was in contact with Burmese Exiled Students in Thailand at that time.
As soon as I reached home, my parents suggested I move to my mother’s home town which was located in Delta region called Sha Kwae along the Irrawaddy river . I spent almost 6 months there and came back home just before my Institute was reopened after over 2 years.
During my stay in my mother’s place, military troops kept on coming to my house and asked who contacted me, any persons came across, questioned all of my family most frequently like 3 visits in a week.
When I went back to my Institute, we all took agreement not to involve such Activities until the end of the course. The authorities kept on investigating my family during my study until I finished.
I came back home and my parents planned for me to survive in another place which would be safe for my life but didn’t choose where. I started to plan as soon as I graduated with Veterinary Medicine, through a local agent. First, I sneaked into Thailand and became an illegal. It’s so difficult to survive with language barrier, status condition, without proper contact, that led me to struggle to survive. I spent a few months there with all kinds of odd job, overworked, underpaid, termination anytime by employers. I faced lots of hardship.
I tried to find and looked for greener pastures which was Malaysia not so far from Thailand. As an illegal in Thailand I faced lots of arrest, abuse, corruption that I totally couldn’t survive. It was the same with others from Myanmar. I barely saved some money to pay for my trip to Malaysia and finally, I travelled to Malaysia through an agent. First, I travelled to Haadyai and stayed there for few days. Then, I crossed the border by agent’s arrangement and arrived in KL. It took almost a week. I stayed at the Agent’s house for another few days and got a job as dishwasher in a small restaurant in KL.
I faced the same discrimination as Thailand. They treated us like slaves, overwork, underpaid, without provision, under supplies and not the same opportunity as local. Moving one place to another to look for better future as a normal human being but couldn’t find it. During my stay in KL and as general worker with much hardship, I was caught by Authorities and sent to Lenggeng Camp for two and half months.
I was deported to the Thai border and started to live my life with hardship again. I saved some money and tried to come back to Malaysia because it’s not safe to live in Thailand, there were lots of personnel from Military Intelligent in Burma and lawless acts were normal. I came back to Malaysia after half a year at the Thai border.
As an Illegal, we face arrests by corrupted police and forced to pay money, body searching in public as humiliation, rapes, molested by authorities during lockup, keeping in detention camp without proper provisions, torture, but every body seems to be quiet whatever or whoever here as an illegal . Frequent arrests everywhere, corruptions as normal routine.
I am looking for some ray of hope to live a normal life but it is far far away for me. But I really want to continue my life with my family whom I still haven’t contacted since I left.
With great imagination I imagine that I can explore all my knowledge based on my degree and live my life with peace in mind. It is my one great hope. But I would definitely be persecuted by authorities for sneaking illegally and without their knowledge under their tight nose. Some time there is no mercy for people who can’t live in their own country and risk living their lives in other people’s land where there are no proper protection as human being.
Sleepless nights are numerous, moving one place to another is daily routine for illegals because frequent arrest and raids everywhere nowadays. Life as illegal is totally difficult as an alien in Malaysia. Looking for lovely hand that will cover from all sorts of attack mentally as well as physically.
Well civilized country such as Malaysia has lots of potential as well as high proven living status. It should not accommodate those unnecessary incidents that have been hitting illegal for years after years.
You will definitely feel it If you were in my shoes but I’m still looking for a ray of hope that will fulfil my desire sooner or later.