Encounter with Bangladeshi cleaner changed his perceptions

Migrant x Me business developer Seah Cheng, 26, said his former impressions of migrant workers were shaped by negative stereotypes and anecdotes shared by friends and family.
Migrant x Me business developer Seah Cheng, 26, said his former impressions of migrant workers were shaped by negative stereotypes and anecdotes shared by friends and family.ST PHOTO: MARCELLIN LOPEZ

When he was growing up, business developer Seah Cheng, 26, never paid attention to the migrant workers who cleaned his Housing Board block or swept the streets, though he crossed paths with them every day.

Instead, his impressions of them were shaped by negative stereotypes and anecdotes shared by friends and family - some warned him against migrant workers, saying they would "kidnap" him. Others poked fun at their skin colour and food, and claimed that they smelled.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 31, 2020, with the headline 'Encounter with Bangladeshi cleaner changed his perceptions'. Print Edition | Subscribe