Singapore – In response to recent news that more foreign worker dormitories would be built, a member of the public suggested Bukit Timah as one location so that “ministers living in the area would become more sensitive to their needs.”
It is the goal of the Government to build new foreign worker dormitories with “better standards” in the next few years, reported todayonline.com last Monday (June 1).
According to National Development Minister Lawrence Wong, the plan to improve foreign workers living conditions is essential to making them more resilient to pandemics, based on the effect of the Covid-19 outbreak on dormitories.
The new dormitories are set to house 100,000 workers and would be built near residential areas, Mr Wong announced. He urged Singaporeans to refrain from having a “not in my backyard” mentality regarding the improvements.
In land-scarce Singapore, it’s inevitable that some of these new dormitory sites will be quite near residential areas, so all of us have to do our part to reject the ‘not in my backyard’ mindset,” he said.
Mr Wong noted that Singaporeans have to appreciate the work of migrant workers “and welcome them as part of our community.” The development plan is an integral part of how we can learn from this whole experience and become a more inclusive society, he added.
While it is still unclear which areas these new dormitories would be built, members of the public provided a few suggestions.
Facebook page All Singapore Stuff shared a screenshot of a comment made by one Jade Rasif who suggested Bukit Timah as one option. She gave three reasons why that area would be perfect. “One, diversity. Two, it’s got lots of space to build. Three, a lot of ministers live in this area so it might make them more sensitive to the needs of workers.”
It appears that Ms Rasif wasn’t the only one who thought of Bukit Timah. Comments on the report showed numerous members of the public suggesting the same.
Choosing Bukit Timah would “show the Government cares for these workers,” said Moe Zalxjxan. Another pointed out that these areas would allow ministers to “walk their talk” and it would make the workers feel secure.
Others said placing the new dorms near the Ministry of Health, Manpower or Education would allow the Government to conduct spot checks more efficiently. Orchard and Holland Road were two other frequently mentioned areas suggested by netizens.
Meanwhile, Bobby CJ Han commented that leaders were missing the whole point. “We don’t need more dormitories; we need to reduce our reliance for (sic) foreign workers, increase productivity, reduce income gaps, and the like,” he said.
Valid points. Orchard area oso quite central, can consider
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