The Singapore Conservative Liberal Coalition has decided to reinstate slavery into the Singapore but with stringent strings attached.
People are now only allowed to own slaves for a single twenty-four period, and only if they are a foreign worker in Singapore. Thus, if a foreign worker is found without his employer with him or her, he can be kept as a slave for one day. This applies to all workers coming from foreign lands that have established a free trade agreement with Singapore. Some examples of such countries include Bangladesh, Philippines and Indonesia.
Loo Mun Cheong, who will be in charge of reinstating slavery in Singapore, said that “This new law came after it has been found that there has been too many foreign workers loitering around the public spaces meant for Singaporeans. Having this ‘intermittent slavery’ law can help keep their numbers in check in public.”
“To put it simply,” said Loo “If you find a foreign worker lying by the streets, you will be legally allowed to keep them as a slave for a whole day.”
It had been debated as to whether or not this time frame should be longer, like a week. However, Loo mentioned that in the interview that “extending the time frame may get the Singaporean masters into murky legal waters such as feeding them, and putting them up.” Thus, for this reason, a single day has been allocated.
“This also means that there will be less pressure on the police as they do not have to go around monitoring and ensuring that this foreign workers behaves,” said Loo, “and the people who used to be harassed by these workers, will instead have somebody to wash the car, clean the toilets and feed the cat.”
Critics of the plan have asked what happens if a group of foreign workers are caught together, and the Singaporean masters are unable to accommodate all the foreign workers into their small HDB flats.
“This be an opportunity for bartering and trading of slaves,” said Loo. “For those people who have caught a slave but do not have much jobs for them to do, they can trade or sell their slaves to somebody who needs one for the day. ”
Naturally, foreign workers are not looking forward to the new scheme.
One foreign worker that was interviewed mentioned that he was sadden by the new scheme. Parvlou Bindish Krishnan, a construction worker, said that “I always sit on the field drinking Laos beer with my friends at the field opposite Jurong Point Shopping Centre. Now, we have to hide from the Singaporeans in case they catch us and make us clean their homes or carry heavy things.” Parvlou added that “We will now have to find a new place to hide away from the Singaporeans.”
The new scheme, however, has been thoroughly praised by Singaporeans.
Teh Choon Bing, a Singaporean resident, believe that this is a good scheme that can help keep wages low in Singapore. “I used to employ workers to work at my construction site” said Teh, “now I can just fired all of them and try to catch them back to get free labour!”
DragonEyez, a contributer at the popular Hardwarezone forums, exclaimed “I used to hate seeing foreign workers crowding around my estate. After this scheme is implemented, I will be very happy seeing them. I can try to catch a maid to help me carry my heavy bags before I book into camp. Or try to catch an ang moh to help teach my brother tuition so that I don’t have to do so, the possibility is limitless!”
The new law will be reinstated on 20th May 2012. Employers of foreigner workers are advised to keep their workers homes in order prevent having their workers taken away from them for 24 hours.