Zoya's book isn't just about beauty treatments. Her story is about the Karen tribe displaced by "the most brutal dictatorship in the world". She spent her childhood dodging live bullets and bombs, and managed to escape the hovel of the refugee camps in Thailand to earn an MA at the University of East Anglia in the United Kingdom. Her father was assassinated in 2008 by agents of the Burmese regime, and Zoya was also on the hit list. After the world recoiled in the horror of the 2007 "Saffron Revolution", she actually spoke with Prime Minister Gordon Brown, asking him to introduce targeted economic sanctions that would stop money from going to the generals. Money that was helping to pay for the bullets used against the monks on the streets of Rangoon. And the first class treatment of generals coming here as medical tourists to perpetuate the longevity of their dictatorship.
We don't know about the personal stories of the Burmese nationals fleeced by the "freelance recruiters", except that the first four months of their salaries are deducted for "recruitment fees", essentially making them slaves for the first period of their stay in Singapore. The practice is not unique to Burmese of course; Sri Lankans, Indonesians and Filipinos have also been exploited. It is easy to be inured to the unpleasantness of humanitarian rights abuses - until the day "our women will become maids in other people's countries, foreign workers". That's the outcome Lee Kuan Yew predicted for "a really a good dose of incompetent government." (LKY justifying million-dollar pay hike for Singapore ministers, Straits Times, 5 April 2007)