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July 09, 2005 - 12:54 p.m.

Singapore should be ashamed itself! How can a so-called modern country be having a serious dispute over whether their [slave-traded] maids deserve one day off or not??!!

It's pathetic how ordinary people act because they can afford dirt cheap labour to clean up after them and care for their children. In fact, I find Singapore to be culturally quite abusive in the workplace. Not only against their domestic help, but towards each other.

It's all about power and ranking, and people like to puff their feathers by publicly scolding, shouting, berating others. They come across like spoiled, rabid, fearful children--there is nothing graceful or powerful about them. Intelligence never shows its face, if it's even there.

In fact, with most violent and abusive people...those who live to fight, intelligence and the ability to reason are usually lacking.

I know abuse breeds abuse and that the people who dish it out now were usually trained by another abuser as children. And I know violence spreads across all cultures. But I have never seen such a textbook display of it...of the ignorance, immaturity and silliness of it all, as I have in Singapore. It's the most shameful display of human development (or lackthereof) I have ever witnessed in day-to-day life.

To me, as an outsider, it's sad and it's sick. Sad that those receiving the abuse won't or cannot set boundaries and sick that those who dish it out lack the awareness to see themselves in action. Being on the inside of the work culture, I see how young and uncivilized Singapore really is.

Singpore's human rights issues with foreign domestic workers is the most visible of its psychologically toxic culture. The base of the iceberg is generations deep and dense with emotional torture and pain. Singapore needs to heal. Singapore needs grace.


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