Nepali guard beaten in Malaysia goes viral

A mobile video of a Nepali security guard in Malaysia getting beaten up by his supervisor with a truncheon has gone viral in social media, causing outrage in Nepal and its migrant worker community in Malaysia.

The video was posted on a Facebook Page called Sq Soul7 on 7 July, and shows the Nepali guard not saying anything while he is being repeatedly bludgeoned in what looks like a parking lot of an apartment block. The bystander taking the video is overheard asking the supervisor to stop, but the man is mercilessly attacked. 

On Friday, the Nepal Embassy in Kuala Lumpur filed a police complaint. It has also appealed the public on social media to share any additional information they have.

Separately, the rights group Persatuan Industri Keselamatan Malaysia (PIKM) also filed complaints with the police to ensure that the perpetrator is punished. The Malaysian Trade Union Congress (MTUC) has also called for the supervisor to be brought to justice.

Details about the perpetrator and the Nepali migrant are yet to be released. There are no details about why the Nepali was being beaten, which many commentators on social media have said is moot because nothing justifies a worker getting beaten up defenselessly.

As he beats the Nepali, the supervisor is heard saying in Bahasa Melayu: “I'm being nice to you and what do I get in return? You think you're some big shot? What's your problem?”

The Nepali security guard suffers silently throughout the beating, and squirming with pain. 

Santosh Sapkota, Malaysia returnee now in Banepa has identified the supervisor as an Indian Malaysian named ‘Mannu’ who worked at Allied Security. Sapkota said he had also been abused by the man.

"He has beaten many people, and I had filed a complaint at the Nepal Embassy back then. I returned five months earlier than planned after spending nearly four years in Malaysia because I could no longer take the abuse.”

Sapkota said he is not sure if ‘Mannu’ still works at the same Allied Security or if he had been transferred. He added: “You did not need any reason to be physically or verbally abused by him. Punishing this employer would send a positive signal to other employers in the industry as well. It would make things easier for other migrants."  

Santosh Sapkota says he was also beaten by the same supervisor when he worked for the firm Allied Security in Kuala Lumpur. He filed a complaint to Nepal Embassy.

The attention that this case is getting in the media is being taken as a positive sign it will build public opinion pressure and visibility against similar beatings and violence against  migrant workers in Malaysia.

Most other attacks on migrant workers do not get visibility because there is no video evidence, which is why the abuse has persisted. Many Nepali workers returning from Malaysia have complained of frequent physical abuse from supervisors or employers, and even of being robbed by locals who know the migrant worker will not dare go to the police.

Recently, a Bangladeshi worker in Malaysia Mohamad Rayhan Kabir spoke critically against the racist treatment of undocumented foreign workers in an Al Jazeera documentary titled ‘Locked Up in Malaysia’s Lockdown’. He is being deported by the government and blacklisted from entering Malaysia.

In a Whatsapp message to the Daily Star newspaper in Bangladesh, Rayhan said, "I did not lie. I have only talked about discrimination against the migrants. I have not committed a crime. I want the dignity of migrants and my country ensured. I want all migrants and Bangladesh to stand with me.”

A Human Rights Watch statement in response to this decision points out: ‘The Government’s action sends a chilling message to the country’s many migrant workers: if you want to stay in Malaysia, don't speak up no matter how badly you have been treated.’

Malaysia's Human Resources Ministry has asked police promptly arrest the supervisor caught on the video. Media reports said Minister M Saravanan also urged members of the public who have information on the perpetrator to immediately lodge a police report.

Transcript of supervisor's words:


What's your problem?

Are you flaking off?

You are here to work, why are you creating trouble.

I am good to you, and yet you ... (indistinct) Who do you think you are?

Are you here to work or make trouble?

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