Should Domestic Workers Be Able to Use Recreational Facilities in Condos?

Last week I wrote a piece on how Singaporeans love to talk about equality and harmony among all, yet don’t follow through that practice on all accounts such as migrant workers. To further emphasise these inequalities, let’s talk about another group of people that often gets neglected. They are none other than our very own domestic helpers.

These helpers leave the comforts of their home and the warmth of their families for work. A work that takes them to an unfamiliar country where they can never be sure if their employers are going to treat them well or not.

Sure, it’s out of desperation that these people journey far and wide to find work, but don’t discount the courage it takes to give up everything you know and just take a leap of faith into the unknown…which comes with its share of problems.

Domestic helpers

And even if they overcome that hurdle, there seems to be a lot more in the backlog.

Case in point, a condominium along Thomson Road called Cube 8 has implemented a new rule restricting domestic helpers from utilising its recreational facilities. If they are found using the facilities without their resident employers present, they will be evicted immediately.

Domestic helpers
Photo Credit: Mothership

As for the resident themselves, they will face a period ban on the facilities.

Surprisingly, however, the ridiculous rule somehow doesn’t seem to apply to the resident’s guests. Just the help. Discriminate much?

This unnecessary restriction screams unfairness and is a horrible look for Cube 8.

I mean, who thought it was a great idea to implement such a rule? If you think about it, it’s so stupid.

Aren’t live-in domestic helpers technically residents? I’d argue that they are more entitled to the facilities because they live there longer than the guests who arrive there for a day or so.

And how would the management identify a guest from a helper correctly? By profiling? Last time I checked, that’s called racism. I’m glad to see that I’m not the only who finds this odd as hell.

So, why domestic helpers specifically and not guests too? If you were to argue that helpers could bring in anyone and cause problems, shouldn’t security be tightened instead of discriminating all helpers then?

Domestic helpers

And the fact that these helpers now need their employer to tag along to use the facilities is degrading. Is it not enough for them to have permission?

This treatment is indirectly proving that they are lower than us. Is Cube 8 instituting a caste system next?

While the majority are disgusted by this incident, some are looking at the situation differently. They are gauging the situation in terms of status, wealth and problems that might arise from offering too much freedom; basically high class and low class mentality..

Honestly, who’s to say who is right and who is wrong in this situation? At first brush, it might seem totally unfair to domestic workers. Then you think about it, and see that there’s also another side to consider, the usage of those very facilities for the residents.

Spaces are limited, especially considering the COVID-19 restrictions and letting domestic workers use facilities will inadvertently mean some resident won’t be able to.

So what’s the call here?

We don’t have the full story from both sides, but one thing is for sure, we truly lack equality. And until we rectify that, nothing will ever change.

Domestic helpers

This guy has the right idea on how things are going.

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