Singapore ― Frustrated with Minister for Manpower Tan See Leng’s pretence of care, and the poor conditions at a foreign worker dormitory in Jurong, Zakir, a Bangladeshi migrant worker took to social media with an open letter.
After dormitory residents at Westlite Jalan Tukang dorm gathered en masse to confront the dormitory’s management on Wednesday (Oct 13), the situation escalated such that armoured riot police were called in.
Manpower Minister Tan See Leng had given his assurance then to migrant workers, whom he called “brothers”, that they would receive appropriate medical care.
In an open letter, Zakir Hossain Khokan, 41, a writer, and photographer who is also the founder of Migrant Writers Singapore and One Bag, One Book, an initiative to spread reading culture among migrant workers living in Singapore, called out the Minister on social media.
“Minister of Manpower Tan See Leng
Please do not call us “your brothers”
If we are truly your brothers why do you surround us with riot squad and policemen?” Mr Zakir wrote in a Facebook post on Saturday (Oct 16).
Mr Zakir continued: “Do you not know that the food we eat is infested with worms flies and maggots?
Do you not know that the corvided and the non corvided are all huddled together in the same room waiting to get infected and maybe die if help does not arrive in time?
“You must not forget we are workers and not work slaves. The least you can do is to accord us some respect and treat us decently as human beings”, Mr Zakir added.
His post on social media garnered widespread support, including almost 700 reactions and over 300 shares on Facebook.
Mr Zakir’s post came after Dr Tan said: “Please be assured that MOM will be here to walk every step of the journey with you, and work through any operational challenges that you may encounter”.
“To our migrant worker brothers living in the dormitories, I would also like to assure them that they will continue to receive the appropriate medical care if and when they require it”, Dr Tan added. /TISG
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