Forum: All of us guilty of poor treatment of foreign workers

Foreign workers collect their dinner from their temporary housing at Redhill Close on May 4, 2020.
Foreign workers collect their dinner from their temporary housing at Redhill Close on May 4, 2020.ST PHOTO: CHONG JUN LIANG

In Parliament, Nominated MP Anthea Ong asked whether the Government would consider issuing an apology to migrant workers for what she called "dismal conditions" in their dormitories and especially since they are in "complete lockdown for the sake and safety of Singaporeans".

To be honest, it should be Singaporeans who need to apologise for the state these workers are in now. We want everything to be cheap at the expense of these workers.

Singaporeans should not pretend that we care for them now because thousands of these workers are infected.

Where were we when the situation was all right? Were we ever concerned about their living conditions? I am definitely guilty of that.

Some Singaporeans were even bothered when certain dormitories were proposed to be built where they live. If these Singaporeans ever cared, they should have welcomed the idea and embraced these workers with open arms.

So let us all stop being hypocrites, and putting all the blame on the Government.

The real test of our concern for these workers is after this crisis is over. I hope all Singaporeans will still care for every one of these 300,000 fellow human beings.

Andy Chew Teck Huat

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 07, 2020, with the headline 'All of us guilty of poor treatment of foreign workers'. Print Edition | Subscribe