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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Received an email today from Avaaz....

Are you for or nay on this issue?

As extracted from the Petition:

Why this is important

On 26th November 2012, more than a hundred Bus Captains who are of Chinese Nationality went on a peaceful strike to protest against unfair wages and unsuitable living conditions. Instead of solving the problem and investigating their grievances, Singapore authoritarian government has decided to arrest four of the bus captains for instigating the strikes.

According to the government, one is only allowed to stage a strike provided that one has given the employer a 14 days notice.

This of course does not make any sense as the employer has ample time to fire the employees and find new ones instead of solving the problem. They will then continue their unfair treatment of these employees.

While Singapore's government kept on stating that they have "zero tolerance" towards this kind of practices ie. strikes, they seem to tolerate injustice and unfair practices ie. SMRT's unfair treatment of workers from different nationalities.

This has to stop. All employees, regardless of race, language, religion AND nationality should receive the SAME treatment based on amount of work, type of work, qualifications and experience.

Most importantly, if employees (locals and foreigners) are mistreated, they should be able to demand justice. The current union, National Trade Union Congress, is managed by the government, hence, it is not much of a union in the first place.

Singaporeans and other workers in Singapore have had to deal with unfair policies because there is no reliable union to back them up. Strikes and protests are one of the ways to get the employers to listen and change their policies. There should not be any arrest unless violence was involved.

These Bus Captains have paved ways for many to voice against unjust practices of employers. The government has no right to silence the voice of employees. We demand the right to voice against injustice and unfair practices of employers.

Latest update (1):

29 of the Bus Captains have been deported, while 5 are being charged. This is the government's way of sending a warning to everyone "you better not think of a strike or protest. Especially Singaporeans. Foreigners will be deported and they can go home and still get a job back home. You Singaporeans are stuck, so you better obey us."

This is "legal blackmail". The only reason it is legal is because the government said so. Meanwhile, demanding for our rights is "illegal". We cannot expect a government that is one of highest paid in the world to change anything. We have to make a stand and tell them "We have had enough!"

Latest update (2):

I urge you to contact the Prime Minister's Office and Ministry of Manpower and feedback to them directly.
Prime Minister's Office:

Prime Minister's Office's other contact info can be found at the following site:


MOM's other contact info can be found at the following site:

I also urge you to feedback to SMRT directly about the plight of these drivers.

Latest update (3):

SMRT has announced that they will not be raising the pay of the Bus Captains in spite of the strike. Instead, many have been fired and deported, 1 has been jailed and 4 others are still waiting to be charged.

Latest update (4):

On why the activists from Hong Kong are exercised about the situation in Singapore, the group's leader Lee Cheuk Yan told The Straits Times: "If the Singapore government is able to get away with this violation, it will set a bad example to other governments."

Protestors should respect S'pore laws: Labour MPs

We are Singaporeans, and we are protesting the situation. If the Singapore government is able to get away with this violation, it will be able to get away with ANY violations of human rights, and not only will they make it legal, they will also make the Singaporeans believe that THIS IS RIGHT AND ACCEPTABLE. Taking away our rights does NOT equate to PEACE. It is our right to demand for justice where justice is needed!

Latest update (5):
Recently, it has been announced that bus fares will be increased in order to increase the wages of the bus drivers. This has led to many locals blaming the China bus drivers. This is a way for SMRT to divert attention from the real problem, and instigate Singaporeans to hate migrant workers. In actual fact, SMRT has made MILLIONS of dollars in revenue. Being a public service organisation, there isn't a need for SMRT to make so much profit. The pay of the directors and top management can be lowered while those of the bus drivers should be increased, and this should come without needing to raise the bus fares.

This is an attempt by the government to instigate hate, and push the blame around, while pocketing most of the money. The Singapore government is practicing LEGAL corruption.
This petition will be delivered once we have reached the targeted number of 1000 signatures or more. We aim to reach this by 15th December 2012. Please spread the word. Thank you for doing your part! Let's ensure justice is done!

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