- POSTED: 14 Dec 2013 00:33
- UPDATED: 19 Feb 2014 18:36
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Many foreign workers feel at home in Singapore despite basic concerns about their lives and jobs. But the riot at Little India has raised new fears that all Indian workers will be stereotyped, thereby negating all the good they have done in Singapore.
SINGAPORE: Many foreign workers feel at home in Singapore despite basic concerns about their lives and jobs.
But the riot at Little India has raised new fears that all Indian workers will be stereotyped, thereby negating all the good they have done in Singapore.
They hope to move on from the incident soon.
When Indian national Muthukumar first came to Singapore five years ago, he was understandably afraid. It was his first time leaving his homeland, and he did not know anyone in Singapore.
But he soon grew to like the country, where he has been working as a plumber.
Mr Muthukumar studied welding back in Tamil Nadu and worked briefly as a waiter before coming to Singapore.
Like most workers who came here, he was hoping to earn more money to support his parents and younger brother back home.
But now, the 27-year-old is afraid again.
Mr Muthukumar said that he feels worried, and he wants to ask Singaporeans not to view people from his country as those who “drink and fight”.
“(There are also) good people (from Tamil Nadu). Tamil Nadu people -- not all are bad,” he said.
He said he is grateful to have a job and a better life in Singapore.
Mr Muthukumar said he goes to Little India about twice a week, only when he needs to send money back or buy groceries.
He usually sends home some S$700 out of his S$1,000 salary.
When he is not at Little India, Mr Muthukumar spends his time resting and watching television in his dormitory in Mandai.
For him, friendships with Singaporeans come as a bonus.
Mr Muthukumar said he is upset by the recent riot that allegedly involved some of his countrymen.
"If I (was) there, I (would try) to stop them, because Singapore gave me a life,” he said.
Mr Muthukumar also said that his life in Singapore is not without worries, many of which are related to his hopes of earning more money.
Other workers Channel NewsAsia spoke with shared his concerns, and also said they worry about being sent back to their home country, or being injured at work.
They are also concerned about adjusting to life in Singapore, and missing home.
The words of Mr Muthukumar and other foreign workers Channel NewsAsia spoke with may not represent the sentiments of all Indian workers in Singapore.
But there is one thing in common -- they hope the perpetrators of the riot can be found and punished soon, so that everyone can move on from the incident.