Tag Archives: Society & socialisation

Discussion: society & socialisation of migrant labour

Paying over $3,000 in recruitment cost for a $477-per-month job? That’s the way it is

By Aaron Chua, based on an interview in November 2017 “Hello,” says Bhimol* to TWC2 volunteer Alex Au, just as Alex is arriving at The Cuff Road Project’s meal station. “I come back,” adds Bhimol. “Huh? Come back from where?” asks Alex. “[Last] Friday, I come back. New job.” “Ah,” says Alex, but before he  Continue Reading »

No hook for safety harness. Go up anyway, orders supervisor

By Jiang Zhi Feng, based on an interview in November 2017 “Fall down how?” a concerned Miah asked his company’s supervisor about precariousness of mending a pipe two metres above ground without a safety hook. His supervisor replied, “Nothing one. No problem. Can do,” directing him to carry out orders. On 22 September 2017, Miah  Continue Reading »

Despite injury, despite longing for home, a need to stay and work abroad

By Jiang Zhi Feng, based on an interview in October 2017 For ten years as a Bangladeshi migrant worker in Singapore, Hossain Awlad has only been back home three times. He misses home. He misses his wife, his mother, and his relatives. The last time he saw them was in 2013. He calls his wife  Continue Reading »

Bridging the academic-NGO divide: Making research relevant to migrant workers and their front line supporters.

This is a speech given by Nicholas Harrigan, a member of TWC2’s research subcommittee, at the ‘Health of Migrants and Refugees Workshop’ in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on 10 November 2017. This workshop was hosted by United Nations University – International Institute for Global Health. Attendees and speakers came from across South East Asia and included academics, civil society  Continue Reading »

Domestic workers shell out money to dress up for pageants

The Sunday edition of the Straits Times, 29 October 2017, featured beauty contests that attract domestic workers on their days off. It said that there are such pageants almost every week, run by about 20 private organisers. Each contest may have about 40 participants. But taking part in the contest came at a price. Jessica, 33, a  Continue Reading »

Sumon has been five years in Singapore, never held his son before

By Nicholas Lee, based on an interview in September 2017 “Men die, company no thinking, only thinking money”. With words like that reflecting the treatment that Miah Md Sumon and his fellow compatriots receive, it is hard to imagine the lives they lead working in a far-away country away from their loved ones. I sit  Continue Reading »

Research forum report, July 2017

By Regina Ng and Emily Sugerman TWC2’s July 2017 research forum focused on the impact of migration on children in Indonesian households as well as health meanings for foreign domestic workers. Migrating out of poverty? Khoo Choon Yen’s presentation focused on understanding reasons behind children of migrant parents choosing not to continue with (higher) education,  Continue Reading »

Noor worked nine months; never paid his proper salary

By Marcus Chee, based on an interview in June 2017 Through nine months, Noor Mohammod was only given a meagre amount of $130 monthly by his employer, and the entirety of that money had to be allocated to pay a catering company so that he could get his daily meals. $130. That’s all? I sit  Continue Reading »

The rough seas of debt

In an earlier story[1], Liang Lei has sketched the origins of Sikder Sumon’s salary case and the long time it took at the Ministry of Manpower. Here, Edgar Chan adds a bit more detail about the MOM process and discusses the wider context By Edgar Chan On the evening of 25 May 2017, at Isthana  Continue Reading »

How do you determine if your employer or doctor is “good” or “bad”?

We wondered how a foreign worker might form an opinion whether he was getting adequate medical care. We picked a worker at random to see what he has to say. By Cheow Yong Jian Meet Kalam Md Abul, 28, a construction worker whose experiences leave him in considerable doubt on how to answer this question.  Continue Reading »