Singaporeans seem to have some prejudices about foreign workers.
Recently, I had the opportunity to interact with some of these workers and realised that treatment towards them could improve.
When I visited the Westlite Papan dormitory near Jurong Island, I was surprised to find that the conditions far surpassed my expectations. It had eight sickbays, four TV rooms, four reading rooms, a game room, an air-conditioned gym, sports facilities, Wi-Fi on the first floor and even a clinic.
However, there were no doctors in the sickbays and every week, the clinic is open for only two hours. The dorm houses 6,000 workers. How is it possible for all the sick workers to see a doctor in such a short span of time?
When I spoke to a few foreign workers, I found out that even though they were earning more than they would have been back at home, they are not allowed to take leave. Hence, most of them have not seen their families in months or years.
It is heartening to see that action has been taken to help foreign workers in Singapore, such as by providing them with free Wi-Fi so that they can contact their families, and that more volunteers are coming forward to help them.
However, we need to show more appreciation towards them.
We can start doing so by greeting foreign workers and asking about their well-being. Such small actions can brighten a person's day.
Kelly Foo Kai Li, 18
Junior College student