Friday, August 28, 2015

Chinese workers protest in Singapore - the Failure of A Civil Society

Recently two PRC people - a man and a woman - kneeled on the main road in front of the Ministry of Manpower to protest about their plight.

I do not know the circumstances behind their plight. But it must have been pretty bad for them to drive them to such desperate measures - they are risking their own lives in a horrendous way. Would you risk life and limb to protest? Would you sit in the path of incoming traffic. These two did. Why?

They are here alone - without no one willing to help them and so they take matters into their own hands literally. I thought its a pretty ballsy thing to do to put yourself in harm's way like that. Imagine risking your life every second - getting run over by a truck - its a terrifying thing to do.

Some Singaporeans were disgusted because of their protest. Few were sympathetic - most of the commentators were very negative - slamming them for their lack of respect for Singapore law - and there were not a few vile comments - comparing them to "trash" imported by the govt.

Seriously, fellas? c'mon have some empathy. These people like our ancestors came across the sea landed on our shores to work. They got duped or cheated - like many of Singaporean ancestors - many of them "coolies", indentured workers - in effect, "slaves".

I think at the very least these two deserve some sympathy or at the very least cause you to wonder wtf drove them to such a desperate act. Perhaps MOE could look more carefully at the way employment agents operate and how work visas are being issued?

There is a certain brutish aspect in Singapore culture - a hatred for people who step out of line. I wonder where that came from?

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