Online postings are up ferociously and they are all about the riots at Racecourse Road in Little India. Sometimes I do wonder who the rioters are and why are they here in Singapore. Much is being said on the trouble which they have caused, and questions raised, such as: , should the government have allowed these workers here in the first place? Too Was the government negligent or poor in their planning?
I guess the main question seems to be whether this riot could have been avoided if the government had not allowed these people here in the first place. It seems when such an incident occurs the foreign employees would have a sudden transformation in identity, from a worker, to a threat. In any situation or scenario, which endangers a Singaporean’s well-being, these foreign workers would be labeled as something “negative”.
Well seldom, or never, would a word of “thanks” be offered for the work they have done for us here. Our smoother traffic rides in the morning, new MRT lines, MBS and RWS, are all indexes of greater convenience, time savers and entertainment in our little and yet bustling country.
Yet, it seems all the hard work should be credited to the hands that built these, the hard work, labor and sweat of our very much detested foreigner workers. It seems logical that we reap the benefits of their hard work after paying them, but then, will we ever do their jobs? If no, why do we detest their presence? There’s the tinge of irony. For people who worked overseas, they are termed expats, and for our foreign workers here, their names “MIC”, “Bangalas”, and other possible unfriendly terms we can name them.
One day, if they leave, or if they don’t ever come again, will any one of us take up the responsibility and do their job, for our country, and for our nation? Gone were the days, where a hawker center cleaner, or a construction worker’s vocation is deemed acceptable, of market value, or a vocation that is worth considering.
As much as we wish that they didn’t come, are our intentions to fill the jobs or to do the jobs just as great? Will a Singaporean ever hold the same intent, and willingness, to bear the job responsibilities of a foreigner here? Never have I seen a Singaporean drive a Sembcorp rubbish truck round the neighborhood.
Our nation is unique, and in fact, very unique. We employ expats to our countries for such labour. What kind of implication does this present to us?
Recognition and respect is given for manual labor vocations. If there ever is a day where it is so, I guess we won’t be grumbling about the existence of the foreigners, and the problems they caused. Between them and us it will be a love and hate relationship. If one day, they are ever gone, it would be time for us Singaporeans, to take up the responsibility to labour and toil for the nation, like what they did for us. Will we miss their presence, and wish that they are here?
Much can be deliberated, or debated upon. At the end of the day, it’s very much up to the men in white, or most of the men in white, to call the shots, and have something planned out to benefit the nation, and the lives of Singaporean. Though our rate of progress and development is impressive, what defines survival now? Our nation can survive, but we need the people we hate, detest or find them a threat, to do the jobs, which the society taught us to hate or reject.
By “citizen out there” via Readers Contribution.[spacer style=”1″ icon=”none”]
Disclaimer – This letter does not represent the stance of TOC or of any editoral position.