So we were just talking about how Singaporeans have a long way to go in terms of showing compassion and treating their foreign domestic workers (FDWs) with respect. According to MOM, there have been an increase in cases where employers have not provided for the basic needs of their domestic help. Some of these FDWs were even deprived of proper dietary nutrition. We may be technologically advanced but we are far from being a first world society. 

Now there is a video showing NEA officers at work, dismantling and taking away a makeshift mee bakso stall located at an open field next to City Plaza, near Paya Lebar MRT. The field is frequented mostly by Indonesian domestic workers on their off days, in particular, over the weekends. 

As an agency that enforces food hygiene, NEA needs to take a tough stance on such makeshift shops. If they do not, then similar makeshift, and usually unsanitary stalls may sprout in your neighbourhoods.  It is understandable that NEA seemingly has a zero tolerance policy on this matter. 

Nevertheless, the way it enforces the law can be reviewed. Admittedly, the video started showing the officers clearing up the area. What we say is only based on what we saw from the video. Instead of just throwing everything away, NEA could have been more nuanced in its approach, letting the FDWs finish consuming their food if they were in the midst of consuming it. They can then deal with the illegal hawker and the peripherals that were used. 

The FDWs are not the ones carrying out an illegal activity. They should not have to feel penalised or victimised just because they patronised the illegal stall.



The writer, Faith, wants some Mee Bakso.


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