migrant voices film festival

September 12, 2010 § Leave a comment

I just attended the migrant voices film festival yesterday.

It was overall quite enjoyable. The organizers explained that because it was the 3rd and last screening, the films were more light-hearted.

In the first short clip about an Indian construction worker and a domestic worker, the irony between the employer’s religion– Christianity– and the way they treated their domestic worker was brought forth. It made me think just how many of us are actually being Christian in the way we treat foreign workers.

The next short film offered a glimpse into a Bangladeshi man’s minimart. It started on a funny note where the Bangladeshi man showed us different photos of himself at different stages of his life. Then we learnt that he was employing 2 chinese nationals in his minimart catering to Bangladeshi workers (which was quite comical) because of some MOM stipulations that specified which sectors different nationalities could work in. His was classified under service sector, and it was open mostly to workers from Hong Kong, Taiwan and China.

Also shown was a documentary on the Special Pass. Sometimes workers would face problems such as their employers not paying them their full salary and making them work overtime. When such disputes come to the attention of MOM, they will issue a special pass to these workers who will stay to serve as prosecution witnesses even after their work permit has expired. However, this means that they cannot work while staying in Singapore, and the film shows us how they cope with it. One migrant ‘worker’ offered to give the person filming his special pass so he can see what’s its like to spend time wandering the streets with no money.

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