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       Volume 10 Issue 01| January 07, 2011 |

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Star Diary

Response to Foreign Treatment

A few days ago, I noticed Sujoy Kabir's Star Diary passage of December 24, 2010, titled 'Foreign Treatment'. In his passage, he was calling on the Bangladeshi government to train Bangladeshi labourers in Singapore, Malaysia and Middle East, to help tone down the negative stereotypes of Bangladeshis that exist there. I would like to emphasise that it is not the Bangladeshi labourers, but the society of those countries who are behaving like 'illiterate' people, by creating stereotypes based on a few examples that the media feeds them, and mistreat a person based on his or her origin.

Many times, Bangladeshis have been tricked into spending a lot of money on false promises of well-paid jobs in Singapore, Malaysia and Middle East. It is generally the Singaporeans, Malaysians and Arabs who hire these Bangladeshis, bringing them over with false promises, and trap them in extremely low paid jobs in their firms. These corrupt people take advantage of these Bangladeshis, pay them peanuts and give them accommodation where even a dog will not rest. Bangladeshi labourers perform work such as cleaning the sewage and toilets, construction and so on that locals in Malaysia, Middle East and Singapore would not do. Bangladeshi labourers help maintain the cleanliness and infrastructure in their countries, and yet they treat Bangladeshis badly, as was described in that week's Star Diary. I would urge Bangladeshis not to be so quick to judge their own countrymen like those 'illiterate and corrupt' Singaporeans, Malaysians and Arabs and avoid their countries when choosing a location for spending your vacations or for your education.

Mushfique Rahman
Gulshan 2, Dhaka

Footpath Doctor

Last Saturday when I was returning from my university, I noticed some people gathered in the roadside around an old car. Out of curiosity I also too a peek. I was stunned to see that a middle-aged man was giving a lecture and displaying some obscene pictures. He was selling different kinds of special medicine, which he claims increases a man's sexual abilities. At the same time he was giving advice to the surrounding people based on what seemed to me totally distorted medical facts.

When is our government going to take steps for creating awareness among the general populace about such quacks and con artistes? Is it acceptable that this type of imposter can do their business in a busy public place in full view of law enforcing agencies?

Md Rezaya Rabbi
University of Dhaka

Banking Error

A few days ago I had to go with my mother to a private bank to send my application fees for higher studies abroad. My mother had a detailed conversation about opening an account on my behalf with an employee at the bank the day before and as instructed, she carried along with her all the necessary papers.

The employee, upon seeing my mother, came towards us with a polite gesture on his face. He skimmed through the papers that belonged to my mother and told her to do all the formalities. It took about an hour to fill up the form. While he kept my mother preoccupied, he advised me that it would have been better if I had bought a few more photographs. Thinking it would make the account application more effective, I assured him that it would take only an hour to produce those photos from a shop near by. The task was not as easy as I had expected for I had to travel a long way to get the photos.

I was very exhausted as I came back rushing in with the photos. To my utter disappointment, I learnt from my infuriated mother that the employee in the bank had given her wrong information about the account. As a matter of fact, one of his senior officers said that it could not be done. We realised then that all the hassle had gone to waste. But what was most infuriating was when our eyes caught sight of the ID that the irresponsible employee was bearing; it indicated the man's designation – 'Customer Relations'.

Naome Syed
Northern University Bangladesh (NUB)

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