Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Ethical foreign investors and businesses should avoid Singapore

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Today foreign American European and Japanese investors and businesses have a choice where they want to invest. It is not necessary to invest in brutal regimes or countries that deny basic human rights even though wages may be low as the consumers of today do care where their products are manufactured. A product made in say Taiwan, a country which respects worker's rights has better marketability than say a product made in North Korea which suppresses its people.

Last month the world has seen what sort of country Singapore really is. It is a country that has no minimum wage laws which means workers can be paid anything the employer wants; a country that has no independent trade unions and a country that jails workers if they went on strike for better conditions.

Last month about 200 Chinese nationals who worked as bus drivers in the island had gone on a peaceful strike for better pay and working conditions. Citing a lame excuse that bus driving is an occupation that impacts national interest which is clearly nonsense, and therefore requires a 14 day notice which they did not give, five of them were arrested and thrown in jail.

In a seperate incident, almost at the same time, two workers had perched on top of a crane and refused to come down unless they were paid. They too were immediately arrested and treated like criminals.

In Singapore workers have no rights whatsoever. Employers often fail to pay wages, and if anyone complained, their work contracts are cancelled and they are promptly shipped home. In fact the moment they arrive in Singapore, their passports are held by their employers to make sure they work without complaints.

Thousands of maids from Philippines, Indonesia and other countries work for Singapore families. In their case they don't get even a single day off work at all and like other workers, their passports are taken away from them by their employers.

Almost daily you read of cases of maid abuse in the island's state controlled newspapers. The maids are beaten with sticks, hot water is poured over them and they are stabbed with kitchen knives. The employers although charged in court, usually get away with a small fine because of an excuse such as being under stress or depression.

There is no need to invest in a country such as this. I would urge all foreign investors to avoid investing in Singapore Island. Not only will you feel better in your heart, your customers for your products in America, Europe and elsewhere would appreciate it too.

I certainly would avoid buying anything made in Singapore knowing how badly their workers are treated.

Gopalan Nair
Attorney at Law
A Singaporean in exile
Fremont, California USA
Tel: 510 491 4375


Anonymous said...

Dr Chee: Yale must not be complicit in suppressing rights of Singaporeans

Anonymous said...

Pinky Lee is caught between a rock and a hard place.

If he does not call for an election for Pungol East, he will look like the silly, cowardly boy he is.

If he does, the PAP will lose. Worse still, Dr Chee could stand and will the election.

Imagine having Dr. Chee in Parliament questioning Pinky and his cronies.

Bangkok Post
Singapore government under pressure over sex scandal

Anonymous said...

Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC MP Teo Ser Luck and Ms Laura Ong

Where there is smoke, there is fire.

Interesting that the PA Bonding takes place in Communist China.

Unknown said...

Outstanding message of defiance to cheaters and bootlickers.