Foreign workers: Apart and invisible?

Foreign workers: Apart and invisible?

Two worlds collided in Little India on the night of Dec 8.

The world we know is back in full control.

The charred remains of the violent riot have been cleared.

The police investigation and court proceedings are under way.

The Committee of Inquiry has been formed.

The leaders have spoken, as have Singaporeans online and offline.

Order has been restored.

No matter how isolated the event was, it was traumatic for both worlds when, in that brief, mad moment, the two, locked in battle, became one.

But today, they are as distant as ever, perhaps even more so.

Let's face it - Singapore needs large numbers of cheap foreign workers to do the work its citizens do not want.

But beyond this economic contribution, there isn't much interest in what they do, how they cope here and what problems they face.

Contribute to the economy but keep out of our way of life.

That is why there was an uproar among Serangoon Gardens residents when they found out that a foreign-worker dormitory was to be built in their estate.

That dorm is now completed, housing 600 workers, but there is a specially built road leading to it, cut off from the neighbourhood, so the two worlds do not meet.

You couldn't ask for a more apt symbol of the segregation between the two communities.

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