Simple warning would have sufficed, not toilet ban

Wisma Atria's treatment of construction workers, banning them from using toilets in the mall and even going as far as to threaten them with fines and expulsion, is appalling ("Mall's toilet ban for construction crew raises a stink"; last Saturday).

Many of these workers come from foreign countries and have contributed much to the development of Singapore, especially in the construction sector.

Many come from modest backgrounds, and are forced to work far away from their homes and families in order to provide for them.

Often, people forget that foreign workers are fellow human beings, deserving of kindness and dignity.

Amenities such as toilets are basic facilities, and segregation only serves to reinforce the notion that migrant workers do not deserve humane treatment.

A spokesman said the restrictions were due to complaints that the workers were showering in the toilets or washing their tools in the sinks.

A simple warning would have sufficed, and a blanket ban on the use of the mall's public toilets is excessive and unwarranted.

Granted, it is the prerogative of the management of the mall to impose such measures. But doing so shows a lack of compassion and humanity on its part.

This discrimination does not have a place in a nation that prides itself on meritocracy and multiculturalism.

Nicholas Hui Kar Fai

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 28, 2016, with the headline 'Simple warning would have sufficed, not toilet ban'. Print Edition | Subscribe