I think I have seen more people passing out in the MRT recently. All of them are foreign workers, too poor to afford a taxi to get home after a few bottles of alcohol. It is perhaps too easy to blame these foreigners for the recent rise of social ills in Singapore, but let us not forget that they are victims of the very system that we live in today, where the gods of economic progress are worshipped at the expense of social well-being. I said so because I think these foreign workers are exploited only for their economic use. They are simply means to an end, and completely replaceable with other means, as long as these other means would cost less (or cheaper, better, faster, if you will). The government doesn’t do anything at all to integrate these workers to the larger community in Singapore. As much as possible they should be made invisible, put into dormitories far away from residences. In Pioneer constituency you would also notice some “racist” (classist?) banners and regulations directed specifically towards these workers, as they will populate the greeneries around Boon Lay MRT station during weekends: no urinating on the greeneries, for example. The church is not without its fault as well, most of the time following the general consensus of the people, playing safe and not trying to deal with the workers, pretending to be blind of the real situation here.

I am not trying to absolve those drunk people in MRT of their responsibilities, as they also need to own up for what they do, but I guess before we cry out that Singapore has gone worse because of the foreign workers, let us also reflect whether we have also played our own part in this story as well. After all, I am also a tool in this economy, just as these foreign workers. There are more expensive and cheaper tools, but the bottom line is we are simply tools. Everyone is exchangeable, not one is indispensable. Such is the harsh reality of the place which we live in here. The practice of human sacrificing to the gods is as old as human civilization itself, and indeed it has not ended yet. It just changes its form continually. Today, many of us are sacrifices at the altars of economic growth.


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