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Hardships faced by our Singaporean workforce

OUR “WHOLE-OF-GOVERNMENT” NEEDS TO PROTECT OUR VULNERABLE & ELDERLY SINGAPOREANS FROM BEING EXPLOITED BLATANTLY BY UNSCRUPULOUS EMPLOYERS:

When l last wrote about the hardships faced by our Singaporean workforce, a few friends and former colleagues wanted to know how widespread the issue really is.

After taking a walk in Chinatown, everyone of them literally gave me a look of disbelief that the hardships and sufferings are so widespread.

I am encouraged that they ended up discreetly giving those affected some monies, buy foods for them and some even suggested that a ground-up help be created to help affected Singaporeans.

Yes, a couple of thousands are ready being pledged and some have since roped in other friends to help develop a more meaningful community based programme that is less onerous and to be delivered without hurting the pride and dignity of those in need since many of their situations are beyond their reasonable controls.

In the video below, l am sharing the plights of an elderly worker, Mr Kho Chuan Aik.

At 60 years of age, he works as a daily rated dish-washer at the hawker centre in People’s Park Complex but was told to go on leavez without pay, until the Heightened Alert is lifted.

His company did not even have the decency to help him appeal for the $500 or $700 Temporary Relief Grant given the fact that most of these elderly workers are not tech-savvy or may find making an appeal a daunting task.

This is not an isolated case as workers in other hawker centres, coffeeshops and F&B outlets are equally affected too.

Isn’t this a clear case of business owners conveniently using the Heightened Alert to exploit these vulnerable workers out of their “bare-bones” livelihoods?

Given how widespread this is, MOM ought to know about such exploits but why are they so silent and not taking any action against the exploiters?

To see that this is also taking place right in hawker centres managed by NEA, NTUC and other ” supposedly” social enterprises, shouldn’t MOM be hauling up these entities to court for exploiting our elderly and vulnerable workforce?

Living on US$20 A Day In Singapore:

Assuming that these workers were successful in appealing for the relief grant of $500 or $700, this means that they have only US$20 to eat and feed their families in one of the world’s most expensive city.

How about those who do not know how to appeal?

Why isn’t the relief grants make more accessible and less onerous for affected Singaporeans, so as not to add to their burdens?

Surprised that the new Finance Minister, Lawrence Wong, thinks that this is fair and tenable, and see no need to draw on our reserve for more supports to help affected Singaporeans.

To make matter worse, the relief grants are being used as “backdoor” excuses by these business owners to defend themselves while they blatantly exploit these workers.

What kind of example is Lawrence, who happened to be the former Education Minister, imparting to our youngs?

This is morally wrong of the Finance Minister and is setting up very dangerous precedents that will surely turn our country into a soul-less nation in no time.

I hope MOH will release data of suicides in Singapore in a more timely manner so that we can see the impact of our current economic and social hardships on Singaporeans and find ways to reduce those factors that are driving fellow Singaporeans to take their lives needlessly.

Foreign Workers vs Singaporeans Workers:

Given the international highlight on foreign workers, it is sad to state that foreign workers are having a much better quality of life than affected Singaporeans these days.

This is thanks to the collective efforts of more boisterous NGOs in highlighting their plights and abuses, and who are also more nimble and agile in getting these issues addressed.

But when it comes to our own Singaporeans, where and who can they go for help?

If the helps and supports are indeed in place, why was this latest exploitation of our vulnerable and elderly workers possible in the first place?

Can any Singaporean accept the reality that foreign workers are treated better than Singaporean workers right here in Singapore?

Hope the new Labour Minister will act firmly with these errant business owners, including NEA, NTUC and those alleged social enterprises, so that such exploits will never be allowed to be repeated.

Both NEA and NTUC need to rethink about their primary purpose of existence and make a conscientious effort to play their critical socio-economic roles.

Like the prodigal son in the Bible, they have obviously gone astray but at the expense of great hardships upon the shoulders of affected Singaporeans.

So let us ask ourselves a very hard question – who and how are we going to help our fellow Singaporeans who are in needs, abused or exploited?

It is sad but true that Singaporeans clearly deserve better…

 

Joseph Nathan

 

 

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READER COMMENTS BELOW

18 Responses to “Hardships faced by our Singaporean workforce”

  • Great Expectations:

    In the famous novel, Pip, at the age of 23, finally knows who his benefactor is.

    In real life, most Sinkies still have no idea who their oppressors are.

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  • John Richards:

    Hell, even the NTUC hires foreigners over Singaporeans. How ironic is that!

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  • xoxo:

    Need to reform Social Security so that it benefits the really needy sgs than the well-heeled including non-sgs living here.
    A good example of this is how the $100 Billion was allocated.
    Generous furlough granted to well-heeled sgs n FTs but only $600 to needy sgs?

    Is this fair?

    $100 Billion is NO PEANUTS.
    A SMALL FRACTION OF IT CAN GO A LONG WAY TO HELP OUR NEEDY SGS .

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  • Lau Ah Pek:

    Where are the voices of the oppo MPs,are the in hibernation?

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  • liew mun leong must be jailed:

    sad. so sad. that is why we keep telling our neighbor who lamented son with nus degree no job to stop voting pap.

    in our experience, these pap voters are actually not very educated. neither are they internet savvy. and they are so afraid of chenghu they just keep their heads down and continue to vote pap.

    sad. so sad. not because they are having a hard life. rather. sad because we are hurt by their frightful ignorance.

    this frightful ignorance applies also to our own relatives, those with a few O levels or a few A levels. they just don’t want to know what is wrong. when you tell them what is wrong, they cite pap STATES TIMES as proof we are talking like Opposition members.

    seriously, we are very happy if we hear of true hardship cases. the more such cases, the better. you see, we are old, going to meet pap lying king lky soon at the cul de sac to kick his lying balls. but we do hope to see New Government by PSP WP before we kick lky lying balls. that is why each time a hardship case surfaces, our first reaction is, will this help to topple lying pap S$m thieves.

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  • Singaporeans R Free Riders:

    Dear Joseph,
    Talking Cork Sing Song everyone also know.

    Can you answer this question which no Opposition can answer till today?

    So, how do you defines the Singaporean identity?
    1. local born Singaporean with local born Singaporean spouse
    2. naturalized (no NS) Singaporean with local born Singaporean spouse
    3. Singaporean with FT spouse
    4. Singaporean with FT spouse whose children hold pink and foreign IC

    Second, how do you define needy ?
    1. Spend all money on women/cigarette and then act pitiful and come to you for assistance. (is this group of people needy?)
    2. Spend all money on liquor/cigarette and then act pitiful and come to you for assistance. (is this group of people needy?)
    3. Spend all money on gambling/cigarette and then act pitiful and come to you for assistance. (is this group of people needy?)
    4. Lazy to work and then act pitiful and come to you for assistance.
    (is this group of people needy?)
    5. Habitual stealing and conning Singaporean who never want to work but steal and con people ? (is this group of people needy?)
    4. Individual income below SGD1000? (is this group of people needy?)
    5. Household income below SGD1000? (is this group of people needy?)

    Even homeless people also got different type such as drug addicts, rapists, criminals etc.

    So, pray tell how do you define Singaporean identity and needy?
    And, tell where you get the money to fund the needy ?
    Wait for money drop from the sky like fish drop from the sky in a certain book ?

    GE2024.PAP.Guarantee.Win.HuatAgain
    Majullah $PAP$ $PAP$ Huat$ Huat$ Huat$

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  • left behind:

    This is the reality. One of my relative vote for PAP the whole life and she become the dishwasher when she is old. PAP does not help these people or their voters because there is no plans to help poor people who are old. Since independence of Singapore till now, PAP has never thought of creating less labourious job for old people and good retirement plan for old people. CPF is not the solution because it is deduct from the people income, you cannot have CPF to feed poor people when their wage is already low. CPF take away money from people wages when money is useful and more valuable where inflation had not reduce its value. When you have more money when you are young, it could very well change your life and situation like sign up a skill upgrade course. The reverse is when someone deduct money away from wages, making business pay you less because they need to pay CPF, it can make your life worse by taking away all your opportunity which require money. Anyway, the result is clear, old people working as cleaners and dishwashers for a living wage is because people vote PAP, PAP won and become the government, it is what PAP plans for. The cruel thing now is these old cleaners because of covid-19 have to risk their lives, except lip services nobody help these old people out of the situation. Forcing these old cleaner to face risk of covid-19 because they lack of living wage is sinful and inhumane. As Singaporeans vote PAP again and again, their fate when they become old especially the poor will be worse off or same as the cleaner and dishwasher in future.

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  • Super Rock:

    The “prodigal sons” should be the 62%
    Now father don’t care. Let eldest son, Joseph go and bothers and frets. lol

    Joseph Nathan:
    Like the prodigal son in the Bible, they have obviously gone astray but at the expense of great hardships upon the shoulders of affected Singaporeans.

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  • Singaporeans R Free Riders:

    Lau Ah Pek:
    Where are the voices of the oppo MPs,are the in hibernation?

    Very good question.
    MM Goh had already taught us to ask Oppie : What can opposition do for me ?

    Zero… Opposition cannot do anything. Opposition conned you with sweet talk and after gaining power, they went into sleep mode and wake only to count their MP salary and allowances.

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  • Singaporeans R Free Riders:

    John Richards:
    Hell, even the NTUC hires foreigners over Singaporeans. How ironic is that!

    Stop spreading fake news.
    NTUC are pro Singaporeans and will hire Singaporeans at every efforts possible.

    Please withdraw your unsupported allegation or be sued till your pants drop.

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  • liew mun leong must be jailed:

    there are many things wrong in pap island.

    1, pap says need 2m ceca ah nehs to create jobs for cotton sheep. how the formula works only pap can figure out. cotton sheep happily accepted pap lying logic. the wrong here is not pap. it is how come cotton sheep believes in the pap lie.

    2, pap builds smaller and smaller rental units and tells cotton sheep to have more babies citing pap logic no need a large space to ffff. if ever cotton sheep making median wage S$3,500 pm believes in this pap lie, then, the next generation suffers.

    3, pap says car lite. even pap STATES TIMES said those rich invited to park their backsides in pap island buy S$m cars sight unseen. what a tragedy it is for cotton sheep. from birth to death in own land of birth NEVER owing a car whereas the outsider enjoying cotton sheep’s NSF NSR comes and goes and buys S$m cars sight unseen.

    4, pap has been saying aging population for many years. even before pap liar king lky died, pap already said aging population. in 2021, how many months must cotton sheep wait to have tooth fixed? how many months to have eye cataract fixed? has cotton sheep ever tried calling any of the homes for a bed spot? how many years did they say they have to wait for a bed spot? BTW if cotton sheep makes pap kind of S$m, then, bed spot wait is in minutes, almost immediate availability. because with S$, everything is fine in pap island.

    5, pap says all schools are good schools. look at where pap folks send their children. does cotton sheep child school have swimming pool? air con classroom? proper running track? pap knows it is lying when it said all schools are good schools. because pap knows all schools can be good schools provided pap provided the same S$ to each school, in infrastructure, in everything. pap didn’t even though it could. believe pap, suffer. of course, building a swimming pool in every school, putting air cond in every classroom in every school, and such actions, are the right things to do to make every school a good school, but pap did NOT do any such. WHY?

    hahaha. believe pap, die fast. no car, no air cond classroom, no swimming pool school, no job, no proper place to ffff.

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  • oxygen:

    NTUC-Fairprice profits ARE NOT TAXED or taxable whilst Sheng Shiong (and Dairy Farm International as well) is taxed at corporate statutory rate.

    Given this advantage, NTUC-Fairprice operating margin on sales after tax basis is much higher than most listed supermarkets around the globe I researched on.

    They should employ Sinkies exclusively and pay them better wages as a model (and privileged advantaged) employer.

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  • Hardship for Students:

    Big shocking news. Student late 3 times, principal going to cane him or her in public with parents in attendance.

    Singapore schools are brutal.

    Do they cane students who refuse to do “high level” events? What happened to that poor kid? All covered up?

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  • Sad situation:

    Sad to see so many suffer during this lockdown/restriction.
    Comcare should make it easier for those in need to get the support than existing SOP.
    Better still make it automatic instead of needing to apply and appealing for this elderly group.Need to help them survive their evening years with some dignity.
    Comcare need a shakeup…to be more proactive.

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  • Temusik Patriot:

    Washing plates keep my hands clean perprtually,streangthen my arms and elevating my heels for good circulation…all these healthy forms and PAID too…PaP care n share leh!

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  • devalue the worth:

    //hahaha. believe pap, die fast. no car, no air cond classroom, no swimming pool school, no job, no proper place to ffff.//

    don’t know why all the white idiots and gang so love FTs while talk down on own sinkies ?? something must be really wrong up there or they have wrongly listened to their own jiak-liao-bee consultants and advisors who have every interest to have open-leg policy; and to devalue the worth of daft sinkies ???

    our many GEnerelS up there can talk about security and defending sinkie land but when it comes to national policies are they able to see something wrong with it; and talk and act tough on it ???

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  • psychological scarred:

    //Do they cane students who refuse to do “high level” events? What happened to that poor kid? All covered up?//

    really or not ?? if true, this is the first few steps to condition a kid to look upon instruction & authority (e.g just like in the armed forces) where people holding a more superior position can mete out physical punishments for non-compliance ??

    they don’t usually cane adults (only in jails for some offences), but they withdraw incentives / rewards / promotions ?? children are a different ball game, in a “small, weaker and subordinate position” that can be ‘bullied’ (disciplined using a nicer term ??) into obedience ??

    if the kid is lucky, he will turn out to be just fine with little or no psychological problem but perhaps become a more guai guai, obedient and very fearful of authorities (many daft sinkies are like that ????) ???

    and if the kid somehow takes it negatively (could be psychological scarred even for life ???), he may become hateful and rebellious of principals or authorities or any other person agitating such memory ???

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  • Homeless Cat:

    And I say to MM Goh: What have you and the PAP done to Singaporeans? Plenty, that’s what. And we have are close to being done with you.

    Singaporeans R Free Riders: Very good question.
    MM Goh had already taught us to ask Oppie : What can opposition do for me ?

    Zero… Opposition cannot do anything. Opposition conned you with sweet talk and after gaining power, they went into sleep mode and wake only to count their MP salary and allowances.

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