Friday, October 24, 2008
Having spent three months in Singapore now, I have witnessed many things in Singapore. One of things that took me most by surprise was the love hate relationship (or what I call a love hate relationship) that Singapore has with its unskilled migrant workers. While the country can not do without all the migrant labor that comes in to do construction and other such tasks, they are still treated pretty poorly overall...they are transported around like cattle on the backs of open bed trucks and live in 'dormitories' that are often infested with bugs and inhumanly cramped conditions. There have been expose stories about this on local TV, yet people still feel the need to keep their distance. To me it seems like a catch 22, the workers have such poor living situations here that they have little to do to have fun except drink and congregate in a few key areas around town to try and relax. It is these same actions that then upset the locals who feel like the workers are just trouble. Yet without the workers, Singapore probably wouldn't be able to develop as fast as it is. So how will this end? Will the workers always be treated like sub humans? Will they continue to upset the locals? Or will some sort of a compromise be reached? At this point it is hard to say. I hope that a solution can be reached, but who is going to give first? Will it be the workers acting less obnoxious? Or will it be the locals deciding that this just can't continue? I guess we will just have to wait and see.