Hossain with broken foot

Every now and then, a horror story of the inequalities and inadequacies of how Singapore treats its ‘underclass’ emerges. Domestic helpers are often abused or ill-treated and construction workers are denied basic medical and legal recourse if they get injured. Essentially, construction companies see them as gross liabilities and don’t want to waste a cent on their medical expenses. Organisations like TWC2 though continue to do sterling work in helping these disenfranchised workers, often incurring the ire of private companies.

Hossain Md Alamgir is one such victim. Read his full story here. The original page has been removed, but the cache remains. Inspired, and horrified, by his story, here is a poem for him and everyone else who comes up against the dark side of this city, lauded globally for providing an excellent quality of life … for those who can afford it.

Hossain with broken foot

Hossain with broken foot
Hossain cracked safety boot
Hossain met metal plate
Hossain bevelled by fate

Hossain swells with the pain
Hossain must work again
Hossain would sign a lie
Hossain should not know why

Hossain takes boss to court
Hossain finds they forgot
Hossain arms for a fight
Hossain holds up his rights

Hossain sweeps up the floor
Hossain can’t keep the score
Hossain back home you go
Hossain someone we know


Author: Marc

Creative educator. Sometime photographer. Fiddler of words.