Netizen sparks uproar by calling migrant workers gathering “unsightly”

Netizen sparks uproar by calling migrant workers gathering “unsightly”

SINGAPORE: A netizen has sparked an uproar online after he urged the Singapore Police Force and SMRT to take action against migrant workers and foreign domestic workers for crowding the area near the bus interchange at Tampines Central. The netizen asserted that the guest workers are “unsightly,” igniting swift condemnation on social media.

Facebook user John Chapati posted photographs of the gatherings on the Complaint Singapore page and wrote: “At Tampines Central Interchange. These unsightly maids and banglas have migrated from hotspot Paya Lebar Square to here for social gathering and sleeping. This is a walkway and a bus interchange not a garden or a park!”

Tagging SPF and SMRT, he added: “Authorities please do your checks!”

The post was swiftly criticised in the comments section.

In a comment that garnered over 200 reactions, Facebook user JoJo Zie pointed out: “While a lot of you are commenting on them being a nuisance. Have you ever wondered why they are sleeping there? Or if they really wanted to sleep in a public place? Of course no one would like to! Right? If they have a place to sleep, they will!”

Pointing out that some of these helpers could be trying to escape employers demanding that they work even on their days off, JoJo added: “You guys have never been in their shoes so better if nothing good to comment you guys better shut up! Maybe just this kindness you can offer! What a cruel world it is indeed!”

Several netizens urged John to be more empathetic and considerate, asserting that he should leave them be instead of blasting photos he took of them without their consent. Many asked John to relax and stop being a busybody, pointing out that the guest workers were not causing any trouble.

Some also called him out for his derogatory tone and for his use of the word “unsightly” to describe the guest workers.

Those who criticised John online included Singaporeans as well as migrant workers. One Facebook user, Azi C Dapitanon, argued: “There’s still a big space to walk through. Besides, it’s not every single day like that. C’mon, where’s your consideration as HUMAN! You’re lucky not to experience this situation.”

One helper was so incensed that she penned a statement to Singapore President Tharman Shanmugaratnam. Suci Wulansari wrote: “To the honorable president of Singapore. We, the maids, apologize if we have caused any disturbance to the people of Singapore. We come to work,..Not all maids are lucky to sleep in a good place…Many of us only earn enough to support our families back in the village.”

She added: “If many of you feel disturbed by the sight, We hope the government can provide us with a special place for maids or workers to rest when we on day off so as not to get rained on and overheated.”

TISG/

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