Why Wisma banning construction workers from using toilet shows our ugly Singaporean hearts

Singapore is known to be plenty of things – we are a nation of kiasu individuals who have a crazy passion for food and shopping. This might be just my own stereotypical opinion, you can have you own.

Whatever it is, I love my country.

The one huge issue I have with the culture is the whole “holier than thou” sort of mindset. It’s super rampant in this country, I’m often guilty of it myself honestly.

And one standard often used is one’s occupation.

How many times have you heard parents go,
“You don’t want to study now? Next time you grow up be cleaner!”
“If you continue misbehaving, I’ll call the bangala come to take you away!”

Honestly. What the royal f**k kind of threats are those.

“You don’t want to study now? Next time you grow up be cleaner!”

What’s really so wrong about being a cleaner? They play an integral part in our society.

It didn’t ring bells for me till I was in Japan and I saw for the first time in my life, cleaners doing their tasks with so much pride! The bench cleaner at the Tokyo DisneySea park wiped the benches with so much fervency; the janitor at the train station even individually wiped the tracks on the ground meant for the blind.

And they didn’t look like they were humiliated by their jobs. More importantly, no one treated them like dirt. They were respected for their work, therefore they also respect their own work.

“If you continue misbehaving, I’ll call the bangala come to take you away!” 

For the benefit of those who don’t know – ‘bangala’ is a short-form Singaporeans use for Bangladeshi people who are here to work at construction sites.

This already sets the tone to the child that bangalas are to be avoided and shunned away from.

When they’re not! They’re normal human beings just like you and me. And if anything at all, they’re going through shit here. They leave their families and homes to come here and slog for money in hope to give their loved ones a better life back home.

And what do we do to them?

straits times, news, singapore
Screenshot taken from: http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/malls-toilet-ban-for-construction-crew-raises-a-stink

This just advocates snobbish locals that they are better than hardworking construction workers. 

The local is probably there to shop. And Wisma Atria has so many other washrooms! The basement isn’t the only one. If they can get their arrogant asses from home to Orchard Road, I’m sure taking the escalator to a different level’s toilet won’t be much of an issue.

While the construction worker?

He didn’t ask to be stinky. If he could, he would be wearing that cologne as well. If he could, he’d also be leisurely walking around an air-conditioned shopping mall.

But he’s not.

He’s away from home, in a foreign country that openly expresses their disdain for him. He’s slogging his guts out to build buildings for those very people who despise the nature of his work.

Do you see the irony here?

The very community of people who are despised, are the ones who are integral in building our nation. The very group of individuals that built those shopping centres (along with the toilets) are not allowed to use them, because they don’t smell good enough.

And not only is there a ban, there’s also a potential fine and expulsion.

Does it have to be so harsh?

If it wasn’t for these people, we wouldn’t even have those toilets! Bloody wankers.

The crew shouldn’t be the ones punished. If you ask me, (other than the royal ungrateful wankers who complain), it should be the construction developer who didn’t provide proper facilities for them.

Some of those facilities are worse than pig sties. It’s repulsive. You cannot blame them for wanting to use something better! And they probably didn’t expect Singaporeans to be like this.

But I’m so sorry… They are. 😔 As much as I love my country, my people often aren’t the nicest lot.

If the construction crew had their own proper facilities to use, they won’t be pushed to use others. And even if they did use others, what’s so wrong about that? It’s not like they’re doing anything that would hurt anyone. They’re helping to build our society and yet we mistreat them.

They’re doing work that we Singaporeans are too proud to do.

Are we too proud to show our thanks too?


One response to “Why Wisma banning construction workers from using toilet shows our ugly Singaporean hearts”

  1. I think the honest truth here is, Wisma probably received complaints from shoppers and tenants before. Some of which I suspect aren’t enough because of any actual incident, but unfounded and nonsensical worries. And so yes, SG can be very ugly in some ways.


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