With reference to CNA’s “No discontent among Indian foreign workers: Indian High Commissioner”, the PAP government seems intent on ignoring the underlying issues of the Little India riot. Indian High Commissioner to Singapore, Ms Vijay Singh, should not continue to allow the exploitation of Indian workers by Singapore’s pro-business laws.
1 Ms Singh should know by now there are no workers’ union in Singapore. The pro-biz government controls all statutory boards, the media, workers’ unions and has interests ranging from almost cradle to grave businesses. With full control, workers have been disadvantaged and exploited and have no channels to air their grievances. Complaining to the MOM will only ensure repatriation by the employer. Management will mostly ignore workers’ complaints as they are aware workers have incurred huge debts to come to Singapore. The SMRT strike in Nov last year resulted from a combination of these factors.
2 If Ms Singh is sincerely concerned about the welfare of her countrymen, she should watch this video of our first world housing for foreign workers, The hidden slums of Singapore A lot of credit must go to Andrew Loh for his patience and untiring effort in highlighting the plight of foreign workers as well as other individuals and non-profit organisations like TWC2 link etc. This video was taken in December 2012 after years of feedback to the MOM.
3 MOM press release 20 May 2013 – “In the first four months of 2013, MOM conducted about 300 inspections, and took action against 428 employers for housing violations. They were either warned, offered composition or charged in court. Last year, MOM conducted 865 housing inspections and dealt with 1,062 employers for housing their FWs in unacceptable conditions.”
MOM took action against 1062 employers last year and about the same rate in the first 4 months of this year. The government has been increasing the number of foreign workers since 2 decades ago. And Ms Singh wants the public to believe there are NO DISCONTENTED INDIAN WORKERS?
4 If Ms Singh also believes that sleeping in an ‘oven’ will not result in discontent, I would recommend she tries this out and provide feedback to our concerned government. Try living in one of these . I would not be surprised if Indian workers are also living in a cesspool basement, similar to some Chinese foreign workers 4 years ago. (do not watch this if you have just eaten)
5 The MOM does take action but frequently on an ad hoc basis and has never addressed the root causes. Ms Singh needs to watch this video to better understand the reality of foreign workers’ who are easily exploited by employers. She has insulted her common sense by stating there is no discontent among foreign Indian workers working in Singapore.