HARGEISA,16 March 2010 After reading a hastily written “article” entitled, “Somaliland: Dream job turns into a nightmare” published on the so-called The Star Online, few unanswered questions linger. If Somaliland is as lawless as the article portrayed it, why thousands of foreign workers are there? Did the author of the article in question fail to distinguish Somaliland from Somalia?
Yes indeed. The Star Online article states, “The lure of a high-paying job took telecommunications consultant Hor Chee Fei to Somalia, one of the world’s most dangerous places.” Is that so?
Perhaps, the telecom consultant encountered the same scams that people come across in China, U.S., Europe and elsewhere. And Somaliland is not immune to scams.
But few things don’t add up: why the telecom consultant failed to name the CEO or the telecom firm that allegedly chased the worker all the way to Hargeisa’s airport runway? Nor did he provide the contacts of the firm. Something smells rotten.
The worker not only failed to provide the names of the people who have turned his dream job into a nightmare, but he also failed to go to the nearest police station and report the alleged crime.
The Star Online article states, “Hor and five other Malaysians managed to avoid detection by blending in with a crowd of Chinese tourists.”
Well the question is: if there are foreign tourists in Somaliland, then it could not be a lawless country.
Also, what the worker perhaps is not telling you is: that his team members either disputed the contract or they could not deliver the services they promised. Now because things didn’t go as rosy as planned, labeling Somaliland as a lawless land is one way of avenging for their misfortune. Every story has two versions, doesn’t it?
The least the telecom consultant could have done was contact the hundreds of other Malaysians workers in Hargiesa and seek help. In fact, other firms such as, Chinese construction companies have signed contracts with Somaliland government to rebuild Hargeisa’s airport and roads, and currently there hundreds of Chinese as well as Malaysians working in Somaliland. Some even have opened dentist clinics. Read more:
More important, why the airport security forces remained oblivious of the telecom worker chased around by the telecom firm’s owner inside the airport? Is this logical at all? Hargeisa’s airport has one of the most secured systems I have ever come across. The authority is so paranoid that nothing evades its eyes. Yet the telecom worker claims some gangs chased him inside the runway.
Unprofessional articles written by news outlets which break the ethics of good journalism are unfortunately what many people who seek jobs in Somaliland read. It is these articles that would reshape their perception towards Somaliland and influence their decisions to take their skills to there.
If there is no such system in place already, upon their arrivals all foreign nationals should receive the contacts of the security forces, immigration, human rights groups, and Foreign Minister of Somaliland, as well as U.N. agencies. Additionally, it is the government’s responsibility to monitor the well-being of International workers and take all the appropriate actions to protect them.