There is a major renovation work in progress at Tanah Merah Crew Room. It started end of June and will end in mid August. It’s causing so much disruptions and inconvenience. The chaotic mess coupled with the noise and dust really make this place inhospitable. I pity the CMT and those train officers taking their driving break there.
Actually, there is no place to rest at all. We are displaced and in a way have temporarily become refugees. We had to borrow the much smaller rest room used by the station staff. But it’s expected. Can’t be help.
The last renovation was quite some time ago. I have seen at least three major renovations in our crew room. With each renovation, the space of our crew room is further expanded by breaking walls and joining up the adjacent rooms to accommodate our growing manpower strength. There are more and more staff joining our ranks.
First, a team of Blangladeshi demolition team moved in to remove every item in the crew room ie cupboards, shelves, water cooler, water heater, chairs, tables, tv, hi-fi etc to the common corridors or any little space they could find.
The demolition team also hacked and whacked the floor and walls removing all the old tiles and fixtures.
Next, some Malaysian skilled craftsmen began working on the floor. They are now laying tiles on the floor and the walls. In the meantime, the Bangladeshi workers are giving the place a new coat of paint. It’s tedious work cuz furniture, notice boards and other fixtures needed to be moved about for the painting works.
Since Day01, the renovation site is being supervised by a young and wongable soft spoken nubile Fillipino lady in their late 20s. Standing at about 1.5m, she is always there directing and supervising the weather beaten workers in their work. Every detail is manually recorded in sequence by her in the logbook.
I’ve spoken to that lady. She was rather shy and reticent about herself. I only know that she graduated from Manila University with a degree in Architecture. She worked in the Phillipines for a while before coming over here. She has been here for only one month. She is quite new here and this is her first major project working for a renovation and construction company.
When I asked her about her pay, she was only willing to tell me that it’s about three times what she earned back home. Assuming that she is paid $3,000 here, she would only have got $1,000 back home. Since she is quite friendly, many of us would like to chit chat with her to amuse ourselves while taking a driving break. At least, it’s not so boring since there is no tv or hi-fi to entertain us. Langgar!
This renovation project would not have been possible without all those foreign workers. From my observation, all the workers so far are foreigners. We are so dependent them. We ought to be grateful to those foreign workers. Wonder no more why we are seeing more and more of them coming to our shores to work cuz in the words of that Filipino lady, the pay here is three times more than what they get back home.
This tiny piece of rock is a gold mine to peoples from around the world where they make their fortune here and retire comfortably back home. Our country is a gold mine to others. Is it also a gold mine to us natives?
Nonetheless, we are looking forward to a more spacious, cosy and comfortable crew room. As in previous renovation cases, we would usually throw a party to celebrate just like what we do for our house warming when we shift to a new place. In the meantime, we are still temporarily refugees in our own crew point.
“The opinions expressed here are my own and do not reflect the official policies, practices or opinions of SMRT or any organisation with which I may be affiliated.”