Sunday, July 13, 2008

Human Rights and Maids....

In the past weeks Singaporeans have been told that human rights are not important. We should not be too "religious" about it. Our esteemed MM explained promoting human rights is all a conspiracy by Westerners "to do us in". Singapore has a lot to be proud of, our high tech airports, magnificent buildings, modern infrastructure and gigantic reserves. Our success is clear for all to see, yet Westerners keep harping on our human rights record.

Human rights has become a ‘religion’ that breeds devotees who border on the fanatic.It would be ‘hypocrisy’ for such people to decide what is acceptable for the rest of society.” - AG Walter Woon.
Over the years ...43 years to be exact, our govt has urge us not to be too concerned about human rights, just focus your energy on making money. What is the big deal about jailing a handful of Singaporeans for speaking in public? They are out to harm our society anyway so why bother...not everyone deserves rights . Yes, I'm so glad that after4 decades of PAP rule there is little interest among Singaporeans in human rights.

"All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood."
—Article 1 of the
United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR)[2]
I'm quite sure that our society has progressed so much with the advanced system of govt the PAP has put in place that human rights are no longer important. Just look at the way Singaporeans treat their maids.

I want to urge the courts to show more clemency to people who abuse their maids because they have been told that human rights are not that important in our society and over the years they have been conditioned to ignore the more than occasional violation......It is therefore no surprise that some people would go overboard in their treatment of maids. If we don't believe wholeheartedly and without compromise that all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights, then we shouldn't be surprise that some people like members of the opposition and maids are treated without dignity in our society.

"Singapore reject maid's day off" - BBC March 2006.
"Singapore refuses to grant maids mandatory days off", AFP 26 May 2008
Our lack of concern for human rights has made our society is very tolerant...... we tolerate huge and growing income disparity. This economic equality has spilled into the wages of our maids....we pay them the lowest wages in the world.... $250, they come here to one of the highest rates of abuse and that says a lot about the type of society we have. They say treat others the way you like to be treated - how would you like to work for $250 a month without a rest day.


Anonymous said...

Vicious cycle.
Govt is keeping quiet about abuses to Singapore Human Rights (eg speaking in public) and our society is in cahoots with the government in keeping quiet about maid rights. Why do we want the citizens to pay more than $300 to foreigners? Why would the govt do anything to stop collecting billions in Maid levy. It is all very good for the govt, the employer, but bad for the maids...

Anonymous said...

Although it is legally OK but morally it is NOT OK. What to do? It happened.

Lucky Tan, I believed if Human Rights issues were the top priority in the Singaporean pysche, a top Singaporean lawyer would have opened up the case of Dr.Lim Hock Siew and Mr.Chia long time ago. Instead they were made to rot in prison.

Never underestimate the power of Self Preservation.

Anonymous said...

Good point Lucky Tan.

yamizi said...

Heros die young.

Anonymous said...

$250 a month, just to do household chore and suffer the occasional black eye and hot poker?

That is a luxury compared to the life 60,000 enlisted slave serving our National Service.

NS is killing Singapore!

Anonymous said...

NS is a violation of human rights too as you are forced into doing something you don't want to at low wages. Exposed to danger in the name of service to the nation, you are asked to buy insurance yourself. Make a stupid mistake like Dave Teo and you are damned for life. Service to nation, my foot!
All we have is a big profit oriented company called Singapore Inc, not nation.

Anonymous said...

In my country (and most of the world) when we don't like a governement, or when a governement is unpopular we change it. With a vote.
As far as i am concerned, you have the possibility to make this choice here.
So why on earth do you keep voting for the same party all over again?
If you dont like something, change it.
Am I missing something?

Anonymous said...

The reason why circus animals (Lions, etc) rarely attacks their trainers is also the same reason why PAP will not be voted off (unless the population goes nuts).

Anyway, most Singaporeans choose to worship $$$ and such behaviour(greed is good, every1 for himself and devil take the hindmost) is only to be expected. I cant understand why we are making such a fuss. Lets be honest, there must be times when we wish we could give road hogs, inconsiderate drivers, teenagers in MRT sharing their music with the world, and other assorted morons a piece of our mind ... but we dare not 'cos they could be bigger\some1 important\etc.

However, if there were easy targets ... law of jungle and survival of fittest lah.

PS: I dun employ maids cos i am a cheapo


Onlooker said...

Maids are paid so little in Singapore.
$250/mth ~= $10 a day.
less then 50cent per hour worse case scenario.
But in the case of NS no rank(aka rec or private up to cpl) = lowest pay. lower than a maid!!!
Contrast that to ministerial pay :)
Uniquely Singapore, no?

Glass Castle said...

Hi Lucky,

I just wanted to draw your attention to Glass Castle, a new webzine focusing on women's welfare and gender relations in Singapore and the region. Our inaugural issue features an interview with NCMP Sylvia Lim, and we have recently blogged about the Day.Off campaign as well as AWARE's recent report on sexual harassment. Do drop by and come back if you find our content of interest.


Anonymous said...

> Our lack of concern for human rights has made our society is very tolerant...... we tolerate huge and growing income disparity.

But if you regard human rights to be the mother of most issues in sg, why won't you support the tactics of Chee - the human rights crusader? You seem to like Low's style more. No?

Anonymous said...

Relax lah, everyone. 9th of August coming soon. Cool down, sit back and hear to this patriotic NDP song.

Anonymous said...

9th August is the day of celebration for the ruling elite's triumphant over peasants and NS slave.

Beyond the fireworks and free bottles of sai chew, NDP is an event organised by the elites with forced enslave labour from the SAF.

It has long been hijack by the MIW as a showcase of the entrenchment of their power-base, where else do you find a parade contingent sycophantic lackeys (i.e. white shirts co-opted NTUC members)?

If those 25-pounders aren't just firing charges, I hope they load a few live rounds and aim straight at those scumbag MIW.

Anonymous said...

i noticed how the newspaper article billed the stats as "are singaporeans willing to pay more to attract better qualified domestic helpers?" rather than "why are singaporeans not ashamed of paying their helpers piss-poor salaries while abusing them?"

never underestimate the power of the media over our perception framework.

Anonymous said...

Oh my god.... Another one...
Tell me:
What has your state accomplished ?
What other than limiting the freedom of the press, the right of free speech ect etc etc. Dont do this - do this....

Your state is nothing more but a very poor copy of the ex communist Germany - with a political drift to the right... A bloody dictatorship which has accomplished NOTHING of any value to the world....

No cultural achievments, no achievements in sports, no achievement in history - no nothing...

Nothing but a dictatorship ! Sit back relax and contniue to be stupid !

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