Free movies for Foreign Workers a Step in the Right Direction


More incentives like this may reduce crime, disobedience among foreign workers.


As part of its May Day celebrations, The Migrant Workers Centre held free screenings of popular movies like The Amazing Spiderman 2 and Godzilla. Held at Cathay Cineplex the movie screenings (both new to the box office) were well attended by foreign workers hailing from South Asia, namely India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

As a Singaporean I feel this is a step in the right direction. I applaud the MWC’s intentions, which they said were “to recognise and show appreciation to our migrant workers for the hard work and dedication as part Singapore’s workforce, and their role in contributing to Singapore’s economy.”

I think more programmes such as this, incentivising and rewarding foreign workers, are instrumental to fewer tensions and outbreaks of discontent. After all what is a riot, but unhappy people acting out? The facts are that these people work long tireless hours, live in conditions none of us can imagine, and they get one day off a week is they’re lucky. I’d be unhappy too. Not to mention they are treated as outcasts, looked down upon and discriminated against in class-conscious Singapore.

It’s great to see initiatives like this for the male, South Asian foreign workers. As there are plenty of equivalents for their female South East Asian counterparts. NGOs like AIDHA and HOME provide shelter and continuing education to domestic workers from the Philippines and Indonesia. It would be great to see similar programmes to the ones offered at AIDHA (eg leadership, business skills and computer skills) to help support and empower male foreign workers.

More social activities offered to them in general could do no harm. Part of the issue in their loitering and consuming alcohol is the lack of things to do (as they can’t afford them) and places to go (as they aren’t welcome anywhere).

In future I hope to see more sporting programmes, perhaps a cricket and football league with a small prize. Companies such as Western Union or Singtel IDD may be interested to sponsor.

Let’s give more support to the hands that build our homes, construct our train lines and re-tar our roads. They are also our neighbours and human beings and deserve the same liberties and human rights as anyone else.


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About the author

Sabina Fernandez

Sabina Fernandez is a Singaporean editor and yoga teacher. She has crafted content for Audi, Singtel, Conde Nast Traveller and Time Out and her most popular online article received 12,000+ views in two days.
Most recently she was an editor at Her World, Singapore's largest women's magazine. When not writing, she teaches regular outdoor yoga classes in the botanic gardens and by the beach.

For info about her writing visit or go to for more about her yoga classes.

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