Today, I stopped by a Charcoal factory near Taiping city in northern Malaysia. Here is ‘Abdul’ who has spent his entire adult life working 7 days a week, producing charcoal for export to Japan.
It takes 32 days to turn the trees from the nearby mangrove forest into charcoal, involving hundreds of hard and unhealthy working hours.

I was told that the the factory owner makes real good money on the business.
Abdul is paid 1.000 ri
nggit (USD 250) a month.
In a shed next dor to the big ovens, I met young women, stuffing bags with lower quality charcoal for local consumption. They get
0,2 ringgit (USD 0,05) per bag.

With a per capita income of USD 11.000, Malaysia is one of the richest countries in Asia.


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