Treat foreign workers with respect

It is troubling to see how many people in Singapore continue to treat foreign workers shabbily, despite frequent calls not to do so.

The poor treatment of foreign workers is especially common when it comes to construction workers and domestic maids.

I was at a clinic with my family recently.

Ahead of me, a construction worker seeking medical treatment was being questioned by the receptionist in an extremely harsh tone, and served in a manner which many would consider rude.

When it was me and my family's turn, the receptionist's tone was completely different.

This happens at many other places as well.

In condominiums, foreign domestic workers are intimidated and spoken to in similar harsh tones.

At construction sites, workers are verbally abused by their supervisors, who sometimes use profanities.

It may be a minority of the people in Singapore who engage in such behaviour.

However, we should remember that these workers are here to make our lives better, to keep our estates cleaner, and to build our homes, roads and landscapes, and so on.

These foreign workers leave their homes to come here and work for meagre wages.

The least we can do is accord them some respect.

Kumar Pillay Thangavalu

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 02, 2017, with the headline 'Treat foreign workers with respect'. Print Edition | Subscribe