Facebook & WordPress & Real Life

The ‘problem’ with Facebook is I think so much less about what I write on it. Even here on WordPress (which I’ve been neglecting) I think & craft a little more carefully–& it takes me longer to do the rounds of my friends’ blogs…

But with Facebook, thanks to Twitter & Nokia, updates are constantly given & received.

There are big advantages of course, especially now with Indignation on. People talk about what’s coming up, what we’ll be going to & when we do meet up in person we don’t have months of absence to catch up on.

But there’s also the difficulty of space & things being outdated so fast.

For example this following, posted yesterday by one of my Facebook friends (also a fellow Caferati member/writer) on how his wife & child were treated by:

“Pawer Skills Learning Centre” at Blk 571 Pasir Ris. It was 1.15pm, a hot afternoon, and this boy was waiting for his mom to pick him after school. He had already finished the water in his bottle as he walked two bus stops away to be picked up, in the heat.

The mother picks him, and he cries for more water cos the thirst was too much. Still a distance from home, she takes him to this centre very nearby, hoping that being a centre for children, it could give them some water.

She knocks on their door, its answered by a lady who immediately frowns upon seeing them. The mother asks for some water, if they can be kind enough to give for her thirsty child. The lady walks away and another older woman comes to the door, and tells the mother … Read more

“NO, we can’t give you any water, as our water is only for our students.”

With such a reply, the mom and son walked away.

And this happend right here, in Singapore. It was my wife and son.

From the responses he got, could see that while many friends were shocked, some were not–because this is Singapore. Now that is really sad.

He wondered whether it was because they were Indian.

I went to the Pawer site & scrolled through the childrens’ photos & testimonials–19 of them but not one Indian…

(Remember this was an ’emergency’, a crying child, a desperate mother–)

Would they have given tap water to fill a Chinese child’s water bottle or does their ‘skills learning’ mean thirsty children of any race can’t have water if they are not students?

I don’t know. I wrote to them:

Dear Pawer Admin,

I just read online that a mother who knocked on your door asking for water for her thirsty, crying child was told by the women who answered, “NO, we can’t give you any water, as our water is only for our students.”

I am curious whether this woman is one of your admin staff responsible for the welfare of young students or teaching staff responsible for courses like “Motivation and Character Building” for children.

Either way it is frightening to think that someone with such a mindset (“no water for thirsty children who don’t pay us tuition”) is allowed near children–unless this is an approach adopted by Pawer as an organization–which is even more frightening.


Ovidia Yu

and am awaiting their reply.


7 Responses

  1. The Singapore I lived in for almost 2 years did feel like a place where this would happen.

    I have often shopped at Singaporean malls with my Italian girlfriend, and while the salespeople at big shops fawned over her, they pointedly ignored me. So, Singaporeans do somewhat react to skin color, at least in my experience.

    I have also seen condos in Singapore, during my apartment searches, that had signs like “Children play quietly”, and below it “Fine:**”. Needless to say I rejected that condo, without seeing the apartment I had gone to see.

    But then there are also Singaporeans like you around, which is what makes me take heart. Especially because I might have to go back and live there next year.

  2. OMG! I can’t believe that they did that! Whatthe?!

  3. […] Ovidia wrote an interesting post today on<b>Facebook</b> & WordPress & Real Life « Writing-Yoga-LivingHere’s a quick excerpt […]

  4. Hi Skippetty, tried to post a comment on your blog (to say I love it & I’m also trying to feel my way into ujjayi and I’ll be back) but got ‘rejected’ by the system twice so I’m just posting it here & hoping you’ll see it!

  5. Thank you fellow ashtangi (very happy to ‘meet’ you here) for writing. I wish I did more than write but I’m quite useless off the page so I go on writing!
    Where do you practice?

  6. Hi, I’m a fellow ashtangi and long-time follower of your blog but first-time commenter. I’m super impressed with your activism – as in… how many people would actually have bothered to write Pawer the letter that you just did? You have nothing to gain from it but just trying to make the organization aware of its actions (or if it isn’t company protocol, perhaps it is just their employee they need to know about).

    In any case, little actions like yours will help make the world a better place. Two thumbs up, you have my support!

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