Singapore

A rare glimpse into foreign maids’ lives in Singapore

Singapore’s more than 220,000 domestic workers don’t have an easy job. Far from their families and their homes – most hail from the Philippines, Indonesia, or Burma – they face long work days, little legal protection, and, sometimes, abuse at the hands of their employers. Many of them speak of feeling invisible in Singaporean society. A small group of them, however, are trying to change that by delving into photography as a way to show life from their vantage point. Read more...

Maids-for-hire "on display" in Singapore malls


The scene is peculiar. In a Singapore shopping mall, a young woman rocks a baby doll in her arms. Another pushes around a wheelchair – in which a third woman sits, looking bored – in endless circles. This is billed as “live training” by agencies hiring out domestic workers, who mainly come from Indonesia, Burma, and the Philippines. Our Observers in Singapore are horrified by this display, which they say make women look like mere merchandise. Read more…

Singapore’s 'Little India' riots: "Tensions had long been brewing"

 
It had been decades since Singapore had witnessed violent riots. Several hundred foreign workers faced off with the police on Sunday in Little India, a neigbhourhood with a large South Asian community, after a young Indian man was hit and killed by a bus. The country’s transport minister says alcohol may have been a factor in the riots, but our Observer, who studies Singapore’s South Indian community, believes the violence stems from underlying tensions between migrant workers and locals. Read more...
Contributors

In pictures: Hazardous smog engulfs Singapore

 
Authorities have announced that the hazardous smog that has engulfed Singapore could last for weeks. To show just how bad the situation has become, concerned citizens are sharing photos of the hazy city – mostly taken from behind windows, where they can breathe more easily. Read more…
Contributors

Singapore, an urban model for the French suburbs?

One of our Observers in Singapore wonders if the urban set-up there — which he says preserves an almost crime-free society — could also work in the French suburbs. Read more...

Contributors

A blogger stands up to the Singaporean government

Gopalan Nair is being charged for having "insulted" a judge on his blog. According to him, the case is a message from the government to its bloggers, more inclined to self-censorship than the traditional media. Read more...

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