Educate foreign workers on how S'pore views sexual violence

A foreign worker has been jailed for two weeks for molesting a 20-year-old student in an MRT station (Bangladeshi worker gets two weeks' jail for molesting 20-year-old student; ST Online, July 6).

There have been many cases of Bangladeshi and Indian workers who molested or raped women here. The latest case may not be the last.

Certainly, something must be done to prevent such offences.

Sex crimes are endemic in Bangladesh and India, with the vast majority of cases going unreported.

There is a lack of respect for women and a lack of equal rights for men and women. It is considered shameful to be the victim of sexual violence, leading to a culture of silent collusion and allowing perpetrators to operate with impunity.

When men from those countries come here, they may believe that they are free to do the same here.

If we are to address rape and molestation crimes by foreign workers, we cannot approach it as a law and order problem, but as a manifestation of how their societies treat women.

We have to eradicate this way of thinking.

Currently, new foreign construction workers must attend an orientation programme that covers safety issues and their rights and responsibilities under the law.

The Manpower Ministry should include a module on sexual offences and the severe penalties.

It would be good for these new workers to be made aware of our strict laws, especially on molestation and rape.

The local supervisors can also remind their workers about this issue.

Francis Cheng