今天

年长者的居家伴侣

07/06/09

作者/来源:Seah Chiang Nee http://littlespeck.com 新加坡文献馆译

大量中国妇女快速涌入经济萧条的新加坡,因而面对工作难求的困境,她们尝试解决问题的方法却为新加坡带来了一些不寻常的新社会现象。

‘陈大哥,你可否尽快为我介绍一名男朋友?’这是一名在担任啤酒推销员的中国妇力向我的老朋友提出的请求。对那些不熟悉社会现状的人而言,他们会对这一个要求感到迷惑不解,但对我的老朋友而言,这却是件司空见惯的平常事。

这名中年中国妇女急需认识一名新加坡的离婚男士或鳏夫,不论他的年龄有多大,以便成为他的居家伴侣。

男方支付女方每月300新元的津贴,以换取女方住进男方的寓所成为居家伴侣並负责照顾他的起居生活。这是互惠互利的安排,女方可以拿到薪金之外的另一笔额外金钱,以及免费的住宿从而省下支付房租的开销,而这名男士则只以女佣税的一半金额得到一名居家伴侣和帮佣。

没有合约,没有婚姻,没有法律的麻烦!这是一个短期的安排,双方也不需要终止合约的通知书。她说:只要说声再见,就可以提着行李离开。

没有人知道有多少这类安排,但相信这种现象是在日益增加之中,特别是在当前的经济不景情况下,适合这些中国妇女的工作更是越来越少。

根据中国劳工代理所言,这种情况在年长的独居新加坡男士中是相当的普遍。因为他们的儿女已经长大並且有自已的家庭生活,所以独居男士的生活变得孤单寂寞,因而他们也乐意有个居家的生活伴侣。

这种安排或许也减少了年长男士被外来老婆骗走毕生储蓄的不幸事故的再次发生,因为年长男士被中国太太欺骗的事也有日益增加的趋势。

在大量外来移民快速涌入的情况下新加坡社会倍受冲击,而居家伴侣就是其中的一种新社会现象。这种安排对婚姻和家庭制度有相当的负面影响,但却也弥补了孤独年长男士的生活需要。一名退休人士认为:因为双方之间没有婚姻所以并不会影响到原有的家庭架构,这也可以避免了其中一方受到对方欺骗。然而,社会上的保守人士却不认同这种社会安排,一名家庭主归说:这只是满足男人情欲的放荡行为。

涉及这种短暂情妇安排的妇女主要来自中国。近年来蜂拥而至的移民-尤其是妇女-对新加坡这个小岛国带来了好坏参半的影响。新移民带来了前所未有的新冲劲,但也带来社会磨擦并导致了一些家庭破裂。

没有人知晓中国新移民的确实数据。但根据天府俱乐部一个属于中国新移民的团体,那些成为新加坡公民或者永久居民的中国新移民的人数是介干30万到40万之间。他们之中相当大部分的妇女来自中国的农村地区,她们离乡背井的目的为的就是追寻财富,她们支付费用通过中介商以工作或者学习的理由前来新加坡。据悉这类中国的‘学生’人数高达9万人。

这些归女很坚强也很有决心,她们认为新加坡是一个富裕的国家。我的一名朋友曾经目睹两名中国工厂女工在剧烈的争吵。其中一人是因为她的同乡朋友在和一个中国男客工交往一事而感到愤怒,因而大声的责骂:妳很愚蠢,妳忘记了我们当初一起离开家乡前来新加坡的目的是什么,我们是要来这里赚钱。你为什么要把时间浪费在这个身无分文的阿中身上?妳应该去结交新加坡人。

这群客工中有大部分是安分守己的,他们靠辛勤的工作来赚钱並在合约期满后回返家乡,但其中的小部分却抗拒不了赚快钱的诱惑。她们下手的对象就是那些拥有公积金储蓄的退休年长男士。这些公积金额对本地人来说或许是微不足道,但对来自中国农村的妇女而言却还算是一笔可观的金额,一些家庭不幸的遭到破坏也是为了这笔钱而起。新加坡人並不同情这类受害者,因为他们本身的行为不检点。

一名私家侦探告诉媒体,许多太太上门寻求侦察丈夫在外头包养中国籍情归的不轨行为。在过去两年的时间里,在每个月的50起这种越轨案件之中就有20起是涉及中国‘学生’是第三者的案情。在最近受到媒体报导的一个个案就是一名学生情归靠一名股票经纪商包养而过着富家太太般的生活,过后,她留下了一大笔的信用卡欠债,一个泪流满面的太太和一个破裂的婚姻。这类故事多的是。这名中国劳工代理说:这种不负责任的行为使到中国归女形象平白无辜的受到损坏,因为大部分的中国归女劳工都是以辛勤劳作来赚取正当的收入。

这是资本社会的现象,有供给是因为有所需求,所以男士也应夠承担社会责任。

一名在北京的社会行为分析家认为中国归女向来比男人更有吃苦精神,她们有固执的信念勇往直前;她们可以毫不犹疑的提起行李到新的地方寻求新的生活,为何会如此?因为她们坚信能在逆境中生存下来。

For elderly A live-in companion
No contract, no marriage, no legal complications, the Chinese woman just moves in as part-time mistress and home minder. By Seah Chiang Nee May 30, 2009

(Synopsis: A new happening arising from the rapid influx of Chinese women at a time when jobs are scarcer for them.)

“Big Brother Chen, can you help me find a boyfriend as soon as possible?”

This appeal was made to an old acquaintance of mine one recent night by a Chinese immigrant, who was working as a beer promoter.

For those unfamiliar with the latest social changes brought about by the influx of mainland Chinese here, the request might sound baffling, but not to my friend. He had heard it several times before.

What the middle-age lady wanted was to be introduced to a Singaporean man who was a widower or a divorcee of any age, who could do with a live-in companion.

For S$300 a month, she would move in with him as a part-time mistress and home minder.

In return she would earn extra money to add to her salary selling beer, as well as free board and lodging that she would otherwise have to spend on herself.

It’s mutually beneficial, since the man could have a companion-cum-domestic help at half the cost of a full-time maid (plus levy).

No contract, no marriage, no legal complications! It is temporary and no notice of termination is needed. “Just say goodbye and pack your bags’” she said.

How widespread such arrangements are is anyone’s guess, but it is believed to be on the rise, particularly in view of the severe downturn when jobs for the ladies are scarce.

According to agents importing Chinese workers, the practice has become popular among elderly Singaporeans who are living alone.

“These are lonely men whose wife has died or who are divorced, and their married children long gone, so the companionship is as important as the sex,” said one agent.

It is useful to eliminate the risk of lonely, vulnerable men being cheated by a foreign spouse.

Such cheating cases have been on the rise where the Chinese “wife” disappeared after she had emptied the man’s savings.

“Live-in” companionship is the latest practice to emerge from a society that is fast changing under the weight of an influx of foreign immigrants.

While it is deemed harmful to the institution of marriage and family, there is, however, a growing acceptance that it does meet a pressing need of lonely old men.

“Since no marriage is involved, it doesn’t change Singapore’s family unit because these men live alone,” a retiree rationalised. “At least no one has to be cheated.”

The conservatives, however, disagree. “It just panders to the lecherous demands of the men,” said a housewife.

This issue of temporary mistresses and marriage scams in Singapore mostly involve Chinese mainlanders because of ethnic familiarity.

The tidal wave of arrivals in recent years – especially the women – has brought about tremendous social changes to this small island that are both good and bad.

It has added to a vibrancy never experienced before, but it has also created social friction among the locals, including family break-ups.

Their number is unknown. According to Tian Fu Club, a clan association formed by the mainlanders here, 300,000-400,000 Chinese have become citizens or permanent residents here.

Many are young women who have left families behind in rural China to come for that pot of gold after investing a small fortune in fees to agents to fix them a job or a “student” pass (there are 90,000 of the latter).

“These women are tough, determined and they believe that Singapore is rich,” said my friend, who once witnessed an angry exchange between two mainland factory workers.

One was furious with her friend for dating a China mainland man. “You are silly. You remember why we left our village to come here; it’s to earn money,” she rebuked her.

“How can you waste time with a penny-less ‘Ah Tong’ (slang for Chinese man)?” she wanted to know. “Get a Singaporean.”

The vast majority lives a decent, hard-working life and returns home when the time comes, but a minority falls prey to the temptation of easy money.

The best pickings can be found among lonely retirees who live alone on their Central Provident Fund retirement savings.

The CPF amount, however uninspiring to the locals – is a fortune in most parts of China. For that, a number of women will readily break hearts and families.

Worse still, the victim often gets no sympathy among fellow Singaporeans for his “lustful behaviour” chasing after young skirts.

One private investigator told the press that his company was getting more requests for help by wives here to investigate husbands who they suspect were keeping a China mistress.

On the average of 50 extramarital cases that his firm handled a month in the last two years, 20 would involve a “China student” as the third party.

In a recent reported case, one student-mistress lived off a stockbroker like a rich tai-tai for months, before leaving behind large credit card bills, a tearful wife and a broken marriage.

I can go on and on with such tales.

“They are giving a poor – I must say undeserved — image that Chinese women are home wreckers,” said the agent.

“The vast majority works hard to earn an honest living.”

Like all capitalistic pursuits here, this practice also stems from balancing supply and demand, which means the men must share the blame.

Professor Fu Tan-ming, a social behavioural analyst who is based in Beijing, noted that Chinese women with a history of suffering are more resilient than the men.

“They have a stubborn streak in them that propels them forward,” he said.

“They would not think twice about packing up their bags to begin life anew thousands of miles away from home. Why? It’s because they know they can survive.”

(This was published in The Star, Malaysia today).

---

分类题材: 社会_society ,

《新加坡文献馆》