For better or for worse, this unfortunate event made all of us start to think, to awake from our comfortable slumber, to realise that things can go wrong on our land.
Like many, I was saddened to see images of Little India on the dreadful night, and the stories that they brought along. People were hurt, not just physically, and emotionally.
It brought trauma to the seemingly calm perspective of the Singapore landscape.
But I was not surprised. Honestly, I was not the only one.
How many reports have we read on the abuses that were inflicted onto the blue collar foreign workers? We have all witnessed at some point through various media about their terrible living conditions, and testimonials of their laborious work lives.We are a rich country,upgrading our homes generation after generation, and here’s the hard truth…..
We rest in the blood and sweat of thousands who don’t even have a proper bed space.
I came in contact with foreign construction workers a few years back when I was volunteering with Yvonne, the brown lady from ” Everyday Heroes” .
She was empathetic towards the quality of life of the construction workers and laboured daily to bring them useful materials, extra food supplies or just being a local friend to them. Hundreds queue for a bag of pastry, a bundle of vegetables and the hearty smiles Yvonne received in return is good enough for her to toil for another day. She told me many are shortchanged in their wages, not fully compensated when injuries occurred, (if there is any coverage at all), harsh living conditions, with little sympathy from their employers, or agencies. A host of grievances with no options.
Why does Yvonne do this? Because there is no one else.
Now, are you still surprised at why it happened?