This past week of reading the news has made a giRaffe full of very angsty feelings.
At least with Malaysia taking in the shipwrecked survivors, these Myanmar refugees could finally see an end to their long ordeal at sea. But giRaffe couldn't help but be ashamed, extremely ashamed that it calls itself countrymen with these people on this tiny dot of a nation who, with all their hearts, believed that we should not take in these people.
These are a group of people who did nothing wrong except to be born into a group that is being persecuted in their homeland. They wanted a chance of survival. Nothing else but the most basic of survival. And so they took their chance and escaped from the place they should have a right to call their home, but could not. They did not even intend to run to this tiny dot of a nation. But the fishing boat they were on unfortunately sunk and they had no choice but to put their lives in the hands of those who saved them. And this Vietnamese cargo ship which took these survivors in you see, had no idea they would have to save these refugees. The captain of this Vietnamese cargo ship had a load of cargo to carry, and limited resources and they were supposed to dock on this tiny dot of a nation, with the cargo. giRaffe does not blame the captain at all for heading straight to this tiny dot of a nation instead of detouring somewhere else. After all the captain did what he could, saving the lives of these people. Isn't it expecting a bit too much to have the captain turn to somewhere else to put these people down, before sending the cargo back to this tiny dot of a nation again? Who is going to compensate the captain for his loss in time and fuel and resources? Is the captain having to be punished for being kind and picking up these shipwrecked people?
And there are some of giRaffe's fellow countrymen, who could utter things like, our country have no place for you! Do not come here! No entry! These are people who have not even gone hungry or cold or without a roof over their head for a single moment in their protected lives, who could be so selfish as to refuse these people a refuge because they cannot be generous enough to share a little of what they have.
And giRaffe, right now over here, isn't arguing for whether this tiny dot of a nation should or should not accept refugees. giRaffe is just simply, so pissed off with the attitude of some of its fellow countrymen who are so so so so selfish, with hearts that cannot even have the room to sympathise with any other soul except for themselves. These people are so ugly. So so horrifyingly ugly.
And then today giRaffe reads something that carried on fueling its angst.
At the rate things are going, giRaffe may never ever shake of the angst.
MOM says that workers to inform them of any conflicts or unhappiness. There is no need of strikes because they will look into matters when you tell them there is a problem. Then they make it so difficult because you have to apply for this, apply for that, show them official documentation and things. Yes, official documentation is important, but remember, these are a group of workers who may not be very highly educated, who are trying to eke out a living fair and square. These are a group of people who perhaps cannot even read English (which happens to be our official language, and hence the language of official documents), being from places which uses other languages. But that does not mean that they deserve unfairness. Even after reporting to the MOM, what do you get? Well, you get nothing done! Or in many cases including this one, they are being put off and off, and these poor workers being on S-passes now, are like having a time bomb tied to them, and ticking away. Will their cases be happily swept under the carpet just like nothing ever happened once their S-passes expire and these people are sent back home?
And the now stale news of the unfair wages of the SMRT bus drivers.
What makes a giRaffe even more angsty is that there are those who thinks that unequal pay for equal work is acceptable because these people come from a "cheaper" country. There are those who argue that since these workers have decided to come here to work, they have to accept it if we undercut them, if we give them less when we can get away with it.
Do these not count as exploitation? Just because they come to our country to work, deems them as having to accept all of our whims and fancies and whatever shit we decide to give them? Just because they work for us, and they are on our country makes us gods over them?
Yes, these people might get a much lower pay for the same work back in their country, but that is the rate of that work in that country. Not the rate in our country. We are not in the position, remember we are NOT IN THE POSITION to give a certain person less just because they might get less for the same work in their home country because they are working HERE. They are not working in their home country. It is taking advantage of them, exploiting them, not respecting them if we do such things. If you think that we should favour our own people, then by all means hire our own people first and import less foreign workers. Fair and square. Do not hire less of our own people because they require a higher pay and then get a whole lot of foreign workers and claim that we need them (with parentheses inside your head that they come cheaper cheaper cheaper). Hire foreign workers if there are no locals who can fill the jobs, and not because locals or certain other nationalities who can fill the jobs come at a higher price. If certain workers have certain significantly better skills, by all means, pay them more. If others have less, pay them less. Fair and square. Not lump a whole group of workers together as having the same qualities and give them a certain pay, just because they come from the same country.
But there are those who argues that this is the world of business. This is what doing business is. Doing business is not being nice and being fair. Doing business is trying to reap as much profits as you can. Is it? Is that what doing business is? Then defuq with doing business. May all who do businesses this way rot in hell. May your businesses rot in hell too.
giRaffe does not believe in scolding vulgarities because there are always ways of expressing oneself clearly without vulgarities. But giRaffe has to scold them here, now, because vulgarities are what these people are fit to receive. Yes, that is how much giRaffe hates this sort of ugliness in people.
There are many things that giRaffe detests. Violence, cruelty, disrespect, the list goes on. And among them, unfairness and selfishness ranks very very high up on the list. Unfairness to others. Unfairness when you know it, and you still perpetuate it purposely. Selfishness when you see people who need help but you turn a blind eye. Because you think, that does not concern you and in helping you might get a share, of what you should have, less. Selfishness because you are afraid of sharing even a tiny bit of what you have with the less fortunate, the less privileged.
And these few weeks have been so full of ugly ugly selfishness and unfairness taunting giRaffe in the face. Our little dot of a nation has an entire literate population, even one of the highest percentages of those with tertiary qualifications and above. But what sort of education is this when it does nothing to ensure the magnanimity of our hearts! It is so so so so ugly!