Covid19: Ministry Of Health’s Categories of Covid19 Cases Imply that Foreign Workers Are Not Part of Our Community

Dear All Singapore Stuff,

I refer to the Singapore Ministry of Health’s update on Covid-19 cases, dated 16 April 2020, which can be found here:

I am appalled that the Ministry of Health has chosen to categorize the Covid-19 cases in such an insensitive manner. The Ministry of Health divides cases into the following headers: “cases in the community”, “work permit holders (residing outside dormitories)” and “work permit holders (residing in dormitories”.

By splitting up the cases into three mutually exclusive categories and labeling one such category as “the community”, is the Ministry not advancing the implicit view that the other categories — work permit holders, ie. our foreign workers — are not considered as part of our community?

It is precisely this mentality that our foreign workers are shunned in one corner in Singapore and treated as invisible, even though they contribute greatly to the development of our society. We ought to embrace them as part of our community, both in good times and difficult times. Such labels are terribly insensitive, and betray deep-rooted prejudices which must be eradicated.

Yours faithfully,
Catherine Wong

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