Bak Kwa is honey-glazed barbecue pork (or sometimes chicken) which most Chinese people in Singapore would buy before the Chinese New Year celebration. It is widely considered as a must treat for the festive event which many will queue for hours to wait for freshly grilled Bak Kwa from various famous brands in Singapore.
In the early days, meat is considered to be a luxurious food to many Chinese and they will only consume it during celebrations and festive events.
Singapore is a tropical country that has humid weather and temperature during the day could go as high as 35 degrees on some days. Queuing for the Bak Kwa is a very tedious task as it might take more than ten hours of queuing under the hot sun or raining days.
Here come some lazy businessmen that wanted to avoid the early morning queues and are willing to pay for someone to queue for it. They would pay their foreign workers to queue instead – at S$ 5 per hour and it has been in this manner for the past few years. Most of the foreign workers might be happy to do so since they can avoid tedious work at sites under the hot sun.
However, this controversial action has displeased Singapore’s Migrant Worker Rights Group, as well as the Ministry of Manpower.
Foreign Workers Should Not Do Non-work-Related Errands
Matter of fact, under the work permit regulations, it is actually against the law for foreign workers to help their bosses to do non-work-related errands. Although the government did not penalise these businessmen of the act, it does become a hot talking point among the public and rights groups.
However, it is also very difficult to define the line as foreign workers might be queuing to buy for themselves or maybe for their friends.
Opinions might be different for everyone, some might think this is overreacting, while some may oppose as it might not be really a good choice to do so. However, thinking back, if local Singaporeans employees are asked to queue for the Bak Kwa, is that also a wrong deployment in the employment scope of work? I will leave you to ponder on this question.
Meanwhile, if you are looking to try out the Bak Kwa, check out the 16 famous Bak Kwa brands in Singapore from the worst to the best. Do note that these barbecue pork does not come at a cheap price.