Some migrant workers are now housed in multi-storey car parks

Two days ago on Friday I wrote about the terrible living conditions of migrant workers in a dormitory in Singapore, and the outbreak of the coronovirus in their cramped living areas leading to dormitories being gazetted as isolation areas, which means workers are now quarantined in these dormitories for fourteen days.

I included some of the action taken by the government in handling this, because I felt so relieved to read in the news that something is being done. Not just about the spread of the virus but about the welfare of the migrant workers.

I had read that one of the actions being taken is to thin out the population in the dormitories (which can be in the thousands or tens of thousands) by taking out the healthy workers and placing them in alternative residence like military camps and vacant public housing blocks.

So I was really so disappointed and saddened to read in a Yahoo News Singapore article yesterday that some of these workers have been put in multi-storey carparks, instead of actual vacant HDB (public housing) flats, as shown in the video above and in the Facebook page of the HDB:


Questions I was thinking of when I read the Yahoo News article as well as HDB’s Facebook post:

  • Safe distancing measures, such as no visitation to other levels…“. But the person taking the video (featured at the top of this post) was walking freely between levels. And some of the men were gathering close together. So where was the safe distancing measures?
  • What happened to those vacant housing blocks the authorities spoke of previously?
  • Why this ‘temporary housing’ at car parks? The time it takes to set up the beds and other furniture at these car parks, is the same time it would take inside flats, so why not put them directly in those vacant flats. Do we have them or not?
  • Living in the ‘open air’ like this subject them to mosquitoes. Not only is it cruel to subject them to itchy, uncomfortable mosquito bites, but why risk a dengue fever outbreak on top of the existing logistic headache of the coronovirus?
  • Do those other alternative residence other workers are being moved to, such as military camps, also feature ‘open-air’ living like this? And therefore, also subject the workers to mosquitoes especially at night when the workers are trying to sleep?

Even refugees from war-torn countries are given tents to stay in which would protect them from mosquitoes. And these men are not refugees. That they are being put to live in car parks is just so terrible to me.

They live and work in Singapore, not some poor country. Not only do we fancy ourselves a First World country, not only are we considered a rich country, but our government collects a levy of between $300 and $950 for every single worker, every month. So I just don’t understand why we can’t even give them basic, decent, humane living quarters. Oh, the shame!

I hope these workers now living at the car parks will be quickly moved to a more humane living space. Whether temporary or permanent, one with walls, windows, doors. I can’t believe one has to write that, but yes, please give these human beings a place to stay with walls, windows and doors.


We treat our migrant workers shabbily, and we need to do much better.

On Monday 6th April, Singapore’s newspaper The Straits Times published an article: Coronavirus: Workers describe crowded, cramped living conditions at dormitory gazetted as isolation area. Among other things, it mentioned:

  • workers saying they do not have masks
  • that they are living in unsanitary and crowded conditions
  • their rooms are infested with cockroaches
  • their toilets overflowing with urine
  • having to queue for food with no social distancing measures to keep them apart.
  • trash not disposed of, and rubbish bins placed near their rooms

Such terrible living conditions for our migrant workers is not a new concern here in Singapore. It has been around for many years, and yet it continues. We have known for years of such horrible living conditions, and yet we are too selfish to do anything concrete about it. In the meantime, we continue to benefit enormously from having these foreign workers as cheap labour for our country.

As long as the government do not force the dormitory operators and the construction companies (the industry most of these workers work in) to improve their basic living condition to something more humane, this story will never end. We are all to blame for quietly allowing this to happen in Singapore, our so-called First World country, and for such a long time too. It’s truly shameful.


Writer Andrew Loh remarked in a Facebook post that:

Well, what else is new? Same old problems for 20 years – crowded dorms, bad and inadequate facilities, poor hygiene, poorly paid workers, etc.

These problems have been raised to death.



Retired diplomat and Singapore’s former Permanent Representative to the United Nations Professor Tommy Koh, also pointed out on his Facebook page that, among the ‘disgraceful‘ ways these workers are treated, the employers of these workers transport them in flat bed trucks with no seats. This is really like as if they are cattle, not human beings. And this has been going on for many years.


In a Coconuts Singapore article published on Tuesday 7th April titled: Filthy, cramped dorms come to light as virus afflicts Singapore’s migrant workers, I came across this scene from Facebook user Roy Prakash:


Just look at the overcrowding resulting in how they are forced to be cramped together. If it’s like that with the police officers stationed there now, I can’t imagine what kind of horrific chaos it was like before the officers got there. Is it any wonder if the virus spread like wildfire in there.

Another Facebook user Jason See shows some scenes from an S11 Dormitary:

And more here:

The plight of the workers came to light again because of Covid-19.

The Ministry of Health (MOH) announced on Sunday 5th April, that two dormitories housing migrant workers have been marked as isolation areas because of the growing number of transmissions of the virus among the workers. This means these workers living in those dormitories have to be quarantined in their rooms for 14 days.

Some of the action taken by the government

I read in a Yahoo News Singapore article published yesterday that the government is intervening in this “very major and urgent issue” by:

  • working together with dormitory operators to ensure effective management of basic issues like cleanliness, hygiene and food delivery.
  • putting in active screening and testing of workers. Medical posts on-site at the dormitories, first the critical sites, then scaled up to cater to some 200,000 workers spread across all 43 dormitories in the country.
  • Workers who are healthy are to be separated from infected or suspected infected, and placed at activated sites such as
    • Singapore Armed Forces military camps,
    • Changi Exhibition Centre,
    • ‘floating hotels’ (used for offshore accomodation), and
    • vacant public housing blocks in Tanjong Pagar and Jurong.

The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) published press releases on their website on Wednesday 8th April and Thursday 9th April. Some of the points detailed included:

  • Dormitory operators are stepping up on waste management and sanitation regimes.
  • They have been working with multiple caterers to ensure meals are distributed on time.
  • Initial logistical constraints have been progressively resolved, resulting in improved meal distributions. They have also roped in more manpower for cooking meals and engaged more drivers and vehicles for delivery.


Related Links:

  • Raising standards at worker dormitories is in everyone’s interests: Manpower Minister Josephine Teo (Channel News Asia Youtube video below, 6th April 2020)

No need to put others down to love ourselves

I came across the following meme quote or whatever you call it on someone’s social media account.


As if it’s not enough some of us have to tackle prejudice from some straight people. So let’s turn on each other to spice life up further? So silly.

Except for the Madonna part (because I love her) I would say the description in the image would fit me to a T. I find the poster stupid, though. It’s supposed to be a joke, it’s not meant to be taken seriously, but that’s how something more serious starts. With a joke about other people, spreading the idea that they are inferior or undesirable in some way.

Or the occasional off-hand or snide remark thrown by an acquaintance, or disappointingly, someone closer like a friend? Buh-bye. Thanks for revealing what an asshole you actually are. I now know to avoid you from now on, because I value my time and my peace of mind.

It should have ended with “I just happen to be a man who likes men, but just as capable of being a hissy bitchy queen as any other gay man including those I just dismissed as a fucking cliche.

But yeah, okay, that would be too long and just not as sassy LOL.

Kick-ass underboob

This is both funny and sad: a young woman in a revealing cosplay costume, got the police called on her allegedly by another, older, woman. I read the report on Yahoo! News Singapore, by Ms. Nurul Azliah who wrote:

The woman had reportedly been offended by the revealing costume worn by the cosplayer at the Anime Festival Asia, which was held at Suntec International Convention and Exhibition Centre from 8-10 November. According to video game blog, the woman had called the police after seeing the female cosplayer wearing an outfit that had exposed the bottom part of her breasts — it is an area known as the “underboob”.

Personally, I really like the costume, it looks awesome. I have never been into all this manga or anime stuff or anything related to Japanese comics, or any comics, period. The closest I got to comics was reading one or two graphic novels.

I’ve seen many images of cosplay online, and they can be pretty risque. This particular one the girl is wearing in the photo looks amazing. She obviously spent a lot of effort (and money?!) to indulge in her passion for this, including for hair and makeup and stuff. I hope the boys in the background appreciated her effort too and asked to take some pics. Because the photo could read like they were thinking, “Meh…okaaayy, moving on now…“. Just kidding.

(Five seconds after publishing this post: I decided to withdraw said photo from this post just in case she’s still upset and pissed off over the whole incident. Besides her face is already featured in the Yahoo! article and anyone can look at it there.)

When it comes to women covering up or wearing revealing clothes, I think they should all be respected and left alone with the choices they have made for themselves. Whether it’s for an everyday outfit or a costume for a special occasion. It’s their body and their life. We look away if we don’t like it, and keep our judgements behind closed lips.

The Yahoo article also included a quote from someone who said that:

“…The police did not arrest anyone, and the cosplayer in question is not in trouble, although she was rather traumatised.”

Oh the poor girl! I hope her family and friends have rallied round her. If indeed traumatised, that’s something any one of us can understand. Even grown adults would feel apprehension and indignation at having the police called on them, and the girl looks like a young teenager. I hope she will recover from this and get back to her love for cosplay.


Itchy fingers touching a painting at a museum? This is a hundred times worse

I was stunned, catching the local news on Channel 5 on the report about the woman who ruined an art installation called ‘Kinetic Rain‘ at Terminal 1 of Changi Airport. And now I’ve read some details about it on Yahoo! News Singapore, from an article by Ms. Jeanette Tan, who reported that the woman appeared to have climbed over a railing and got onto a safety net secured under the art installation, where she then grabbed and pulled at pieces of the hanging art.

Having managed to pull one piece loose, a metallic-looking object shaped like a raindrop, she tied it to her wrist and made her way off the safety net, across a thin metal wire to get to a railing. Like an acrobat! From what I saw in the video below, uploaded by a Mr. Chester Chua.

That’s just disgusting. I love art, in my own general way. I’m certainly no art aficionado, but you don’t have to be one to feel really disappointed and pissed off by such utter disrespect. What the hell is wrong with some people.

The video below shows what the installation used to look like. If they ever get around to repairing it, I’m going to make my way to the airport just to have a look. It looked stunning. I haven’t been to the airport for some time and didn’t know there is (was, rather) such a beautiful art piece there.

Click the link to the Yahoo! News Singapore article in the first paragraph above, to see a photo of what Kinetic Rain looks like yesterday afternoon all ruined, and photos documenting the woman in the act.

Fake western accents. Part 2!

I can’t believe the little post I did about fake western accents, based on an excellent humour video by some talented Malaysians now has a ‘sequel’. But I want to document what I just came across via Yahoo! News Singapore, because I just find it so funny/tragic/surreal. I’m not laughing this time though. Just appalled. I find the video report by AFP so disturbing.

There’s actually a tuition school place in Hongkong that teaches little kids to adopt the American accent. How bizarre is that? What is wrong with having a Chinese/Hongkong accent? Absolutely nothing, that’s what! I’m just scandalized because I feel the parents of those little kids are sending the wrong message to the kids that one part of their self, their culture, the way they speak English that is, is just not good enough and that’s why they have to speak the way some Westerners speak.

Honestly, what the hell is wrong with some people. In this case, the parents of not one or two but a whopping three hundred and fifty kids.

Anyone with basic common sense can tell you it’s not your accent, it’s whether you use the language properly and clearly. Those parents should focus on their kids being taught to use the language well, never mind what the accent is.

Sometimes you come across incidents or depictions of people mocking the way Asians talk, and I feel that indirectly the parents of those kids are contributing to validate this, by indicating that our Asian accents are simply not good enough or just inferior, by making their kids adopt a western accent. You can see the mockery on YouTube for example. And sad to say, the idiots who make fun include Asians themselves. I wonder if they are ashamed of their race and think in some perverse way that highlighting how some people of their own race speak will grant them a better sense of belonging in whatever western country they are in. And then of course there are Asians who make fun or belittle other Asian races. Takes all kinds of screwed up people to make this screwed up world go round. I take comfort, or rather I tell myself that most people, the great majority of people in this world, are nice ordinary folks. Assholes are just a light sprinkling among us.

Too funny:

  1. The people on the streets being interviewed saying they prefer to speak English with a British accent. That’s still just as sad. That’s still not being yourself.
  2. The reporter with the U.K. accent, narrating the story in such a despondent way, like he’s thinking, “Can people be more messed up? WTF, this life….” *sigh*

Fake western accents

This video I came across on YouTube just cracked me up like crazy. A nicely done piece that I enjoyed, it’s made by the people behind The Ming Thing. The writing is clever and with good comedic timing, and the performance entertaining. To me these guys and girl from Malaysia should be on TV. I can’t wait to check out their other videos.

I don’t bat an eyelid at Asians I don’t know who happen to have western accents. For all I know, they were born and grew up in a western country, and thus their accent.

But the personal acquaintance or two who I met again after not seeing them for some time, who I suddenly realise now affected a western accent, well there’s a certain morbid fascination in that. You don’t really process quick enough whether it’s tragic or hilarious, so you can’t decide whether you need to hold back laughter, or refrain from staring at the person with your mouth open in genuine surprise, which would be just plain rude of course. In the end you just nod solemnly and look away, and maybe make excuses to get away.

Like indicated in the video, it’s never a foreign accent of another Asian country, because of course that’s eww, just another Asian country. It’s always western accents that these fools feel compelled to fake (American, English, Australian, etc). Sometimes, what adds to the hilarity is that the accents are mixed up, as if the person can’t decide whether he wants to pretend to be American or English, for example. More likely he’s just not aware he got them mixed up. Another source for helpless giggles, is when the command of the English language is really bad, but the western accent is still laboriously affected like his life depends on it.


Related: Fake western accents. Part 2! (30 October 2013)

Making fun of languages: immature and mean

I first caught this video on Tastefully Offensive a few weeks ago.

I admit I laughed, not at the words but at the guy saying the German words. He was really hamming it up for comedic effect. But even then, after the first two or three words, it just wasn’t funny at all. It’s just so silly and rude.

I never understood why some languages are so admired, like French and Italian for example, and others not so much and in fact made fun of, like German. I guess how people think the languages sound has a lot to do with it. I think French and Italian are generally considered melodious and romantic.

But surely it’s only common sense that it’s not so much about the language itself, but how the speaker is using it. And the personality of the individual using the language.

If I am shy or introverted and don’t express myself well, I may end up sounding cold and aloof to some people, in whatever language I happen to be speaking in. If I’m being rude, cursing away or furiously scolding someone, I will sound downright ugly regardless of the language I’m using, including French or Italian. If I’m being polite, or feeling romantic, praising somebody or just generally being pleasant, I will sound just lovely in any language, including German.

I can’t stand comedy that resort to making fun of a language, culture, religion, country, etc, to try score humour points. What, too lazy to think up some other material? Just sad.


Update 3rd September: I just came across this video of American actress Sandra Bullock speaking fluent German while accepting an award. That’s impressive. And the words coming out her mouth, even though I have absolutely no idea what she’s saying, sound really pretty. I rest my case, haha!

WTF Fashion 5

From London Men’s Fashion Week Spring 2014. Click any of the images to go to source.


KTZ Spring/Summer 2014 Menswear Collection. From

I can see Prince rocking this striped ensemble. The sandals look really comfortable.


KTZ Spring/Summer 2014 Menswear Collection. From

This would be great if the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie to be released next year includes an exotic Middle East location, just like Sex & The City 2 did.


Astrid Andersen. From

Good-looking guy with an amazing bod. Hideous outfit. But we do get to admire his pecs and abs. But we get to do that without the top altogether, so it’s pointless? And which probably cost hundreds of dollars, because it’s ‘fashion’? Oh the profundity of some rich people with too much plastic to burn.

Or: maybe he has a shoulder injury, and that’s a bracey thing. Ok now the whole outfit could look like its for hospital use; it does look super comfy.


Astrid Andersen. From

Yet another good-looking guy. And, wow, nicely beefy too. So refreshing to see male models on a runway who are not the usual skinny twig look.

Then they had to go put that outfit on him. *sigh*

Even on a woman it would look bad. Makes me think ‘80s aerobics queen with massive hair‘. Just needs big dangly gold loop earrings and a pair of sports shoes with splashes of neon.


Astrid Andersen. From

Maybe these handsome masculine-looking guys with buff bodies were selected for this Andersen show because the outfits would look too predictably feminine on the usual twinky male model? Ooh, look, tough-guy tattoos. Grandma’s recycled day curtains never looked so butch.


Craig Green for MAN. Image from

If this is targeted to the homeless crowd, they got it all wrong. Any homeless guy can tell you how to fold your cardboard house way more efficiently for easy mobility, so you don’t get it all in your face like that. And white (or beige or vanilla or ivory or whatever you call that) is not exactly a sensible colour for the streets, duh.


Sibling. Image from

This is not Nike taking its Dri-Fit Technology apparel to the next level, or the maximum level. Sibling is the name of the label that came up with this. Perfect for a spot of tennis, obviously. While airing out your nicely smooth man cleavage.

And this guy is the only model here who doesn’t look cranky at having to put on a ridiculous outfit. Sexy, dreamy smile on his face. I bet he’s mentally focusing on the cheque at the end of the day. What a pro.


JW Anderson. Image from (Women’s Wear Daily)

The top might appeal to women. It’s clearly a woman’s top, no? And a very pretty one, too. So it should be at the regular women’s fashion week, not at the men’s one.

Or maybe it’s to pave the way for the male side boob. So if it takes off, Macho Marys will get to show off their nicely muscled pecs they have worked so hard for from the side view. Not just man cleavage from the front view. Ingenious.


JW Anderson. Image from (Women’s Wear Daily)

Ditto. Women would rock this top nicely, for example with a huggy long black dress. A summer stole? An arty one. This is actually very nice, it’s like wearable abstract art or some origami art thing.

Ok, haha, I’m losing it, looking at too many of these photos. That’s not a piece of art, that’s a teapot cosy.

The following two pictures are from the London Men’s Collection Fall/Winter 2013-2014 preview, held in January.


J.W. Anderson. From

Nice boots. Just a tad frilly at the top, but not too much. Makes me think ‘Puss in Boots‘ and ‘The Three Musketeers‘.


Sibling. From

Makes me think ‘Costume of the Evil Queen from the Molly in Mittenland fairytale’, except there’s no such fairytale. I’m also thinking of the cute gingerbread man in the Shrek animation movies, having written Puss in Boots earlier.

Poor guy. Actually I wouldn’t bother feeling sorry for him because models are highly paid, right? So he’s good. But what blows my mind is all the good things that had gone into making something like that.

  • A fashion design education.
  • Talent.
  • Time.
  • Money.
  • Effort.
  • Sketches. Pretty, creative, artistic sketches.
  • Actual hard work by people with actual skills. Knitters, seamstresses?
  • Wool, lots of cosy comfy huggable wool.

Resources, things like that. Oh well, art is subjective. And I’m not an artist, so of course I just don’t get it. But thank goodness for that, though.

And that’s how real men do it, part 2

Too damn cute! A newscaster in Ireland, with a nicely manly voice, merrily powdering his face.

From Gawker, seen via Tastefully Offensive. Youtube video posted by Kathy Gill.

Immediately reminded me of this guy in the same situation last year.