One Mr Nicholas Bloodworth took to social media to share an unfortunate instance of discrimination that took place at the Singapore Cricket Club (SCC) over the weekend that has no place in this world or community.
Mr Bloodworth and his family were at the SCC to watch a game of rugby. After the match, he and his family – including his father, brother, sister-in-law, three nieces/nephews, and a helper – adjourned to a restaurant in the club, The Victoria Room.
It’s worth mentioning that the Singapore Cricket Club, established in 1852 by the colonial British is a premier sports and social club, the oldest sports club in Singapore. The father of the author is a member. of the SCC.
Apparently when the family wanted to enter the restaurant, a staff told them that they ‘don’t allow maids here’. As the author aptly says, this was ‘good, old-timey discrimination’.
Shocked and taken aback by this flagrant discrimination, we tried to clarify: “You mean in this particular area, or in the restaurant?”
“No. They’re not allowed in the club. At all. She has to wait in the car park,” replied the middle-aged Chinese staffer.
“Well, how do you know she’s not my cousin?” quips my sister-in-law.
“I will know,” he said.
I will know.
The author’s father even tried to sign their helper, Mary, in as a guest but wasn’t allowed to either.
Mr Bloodworth then said he took a walk to calm down and try to find another place for dinner. However, it was getting late. By the time he returned, his family was already seated in The Victoria Room and Mary ‘shrugged the whole thing off’ and took his infant niece for a walk so the family could rush through their dinner and pack Mary’s share for later.
Mr Bloodworth continued to say that wasn’t looking to call for a boycott of the Singapore Cricket Club but instead wants to start a discussion about this discriminatory policy practiced there.
He pointed out another incident back in 2001 where a woman was banned for life from the same club for dining with her helper there. In that story, the woman even clarified that her helper was that in the capacity of a friend, not an employee. But the club still saw it fit to ban her.
As you can imagine, the response to this story has been largely heated. People are vexed that such a dated, colonialist policy still exists and is being enforced. Even when the author attempted to sign their helper in as a guest, she wasn’t allowed in. And the audacity to ask her to ‘wait in the car park’ is galling.
One of the commenters pointed out that the club prohibits members bringing in helpers as helpers to serve their employers and not eat or drink or behave like a regular guest. However, the author did point out that the club refused to let her in regardless of her status as a guest. To them, Mary was a helper and nothing more. They essentially discriminated against her for her job.
In the 2001 article shared by Mr Bloodworth about the woman who was banned for life from the club, it was stated that the majority of the members refused to change the archaic policy and that it was mainly the local club members that were in favour of booting out the helper.
Many commenters on the post agreed that a policy like this has no place in Singapore:
One person pointed out that this policy isn’t unique to the Singapore Cricket Club:
And that similar policies exists in other places as well, like condominiums, as are considered the norm:
The Singapore Cricket Club has not responded to Mr Bloodworth’s Facebook post on its official fanpage and TOC has reached out to the club for its comments.