For the past week or so the focus in the media has been on our dispute with Malaysia. Unfortunately for me, it has overshadowed a rather important piece of information on how we treat our maids or domestic workers (FDWs). According to the MOM, there have been an increase in the number of complaints by FDWs regarding inadequate provision of food by their employers.

We pride ourselves in being a first world city that is on the cutting edge of innovations and new discoveries. It saddens me to know that while we have advanced so far, our treatment of our FDWs is far from world class.

It is bad enough that MOM has to set a guideline on what constitutes adequate food. You would think that providing adequate food for their FDWs is a basic need that need not any further emphasis. The reality is scary. 

Why can't our fellow Singaporeans treat their FDWs like a fellow human beings? Never mind that, it is just basic human decency to treat any other people, regardless of their class, race, religion, or background, as human beings. Stop looking at these FDWs as commodities.

Providing them inadequate slices of bread, canned, stale, or leftover food is not sustainable. What kind of relationship are you building? It breeds mistrust and discontent and you rob someone of their integrity.

How are you educating your children to behave with the FDWs? If they become self-absorbed, self-entitled individuals, who do you blame when you do not lead by example? We are instilling the future generations with the wrong values.

We need to grow up and be more humans. As long as we continue to see foreign workers such as the FDWs as mere commodities and not as our fellow human beings, I cannot be totally proud of our country.




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