Tag Archives: Society & socialisation

Discussion: society & socialisation of migrant labour

Robin’s story shows how corruption takes root in Singapore

By Joell Tee, based on an interview in July 2018 The fan whirs quietly overhead and the workers file in in an orderly manner to collect their tokens for dinner. Scattered laughter and chatter make for a warm and homely atmosphere. It is my second time at TWC2’s DaySpace and yet I do not feel  Continue Reading »

Arrivals and change in vocation of Bangladeshi workers

After 2015, new arrivals of first-time Bangladeshi workers appear to have fallen off quite dramatically — this was the main finding of a study done in August and September 2018. Interviews were conducted with 106 Bangladeshi workers and each was asked the year of his first arrival in Singapore. We found unusually few who first  Continue Reading »

Black and white: How do workers know the importance of the IPA?

By Nicholas Lee, based on interviews in July 2018 Today’s article takes a little step back to explore how variances in culture and social experience affect the way foreign workers understand and handle paper documentation, processes and rules in Singapore. As locals know all too well, Singapore is famous for its strict adherence to “Black  Continue Reading »

For men from a poor country, choice is a mirage

In June 2018, TWC2 volunteer Alston Ng went around asking Bangladeshi workers, “Why did you choose to come to Singapore to work?” The words “neoliberal capitalism” are rarely heard in Singapore, but its message has nonetheless found a faithful following among Singaporeans. Markets are best optimised when left to run by itself, because the exercise  Continue Reading »

False hope, hesitant trust and bureaucratic complexities

By Liang Lei, based on an interview in May 2018 Received unexpectedly dismal scores for an assessment? Appeal. Although this “survival tactic” for examinations seems to transcend cultures, the consequences can vary drastically from one situation to another. In the case of a foreign worker’s Permanent Incapacity Compensation score, a hasty decision to appeal may  Continue Reading »

Bangladeshi workers’ perception of Singapore, choice of Singapore as work destination and journey here

Intern Roy Lim was with TWC2 from late April to early June 2018. Among his tasks were to complete a research project, a smallish one in view of the limited time and that fact that it had to be done single-handedly. The attached paper is his report. In his paper, he found that Bangladeshi workers  Continue Reading »

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 »