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March 14, 2006

The Hindi-Film Actor Plague

In this week's edition of Zooming In, Gelf's quasi-weekly roundup of undercovered local stories from around the world: a Norwegian woman finds her stolen goods online; a missing Buddhist mystic; and Japanese reaction to a blown call. One of our favorites deals with how Bangladeshis' movie-star looks cause "social problems" in Malaysia.

Zooming In
Paul Antonson
Even though English is widely spoken in Bangladesh, many Bangladeshi immigrants to Malaysia are on student visas and enroll in English classes at local colleges. Home Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Radzi Sheikh Ahmad is extremely suspicious, telling the New Straits Times that agents for employers are seeking to circumvent laws barring Bangladeshis from working in the country. "They go to Bangladesh and recruit the workers. They make a deal with the colleges for student visas and bring the workers in as students and place them for employment," he says. "The student visa provision is being made a mockery." According to the article, the Malaysian government barred employers from recruiting Bangladeshi workers due to a strange problem. As Razdi explains, "They have blue eyes and look like Hindi film actors and they create social problems here."

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