Thursday, September 18, 2008

Foreign Workers' Dormitory Points To Larger Issues

Source : The Straits Times, Sep 18, 2008

No decision made yet, says Mah

By Melissa Sim

But integration of foreign workers is a larger issue that must be tackled.

NO DECISION has been made about setting up a foreign worker dormitory in Serangoon Gardens, but it is hoped it will come in a couple of weeks.

National Development Minister Mah Bow Tan, disclosing this to reporters yesterday, also took the opportunity to raise a larger issue - that of balancing the economic growth that foreign workers bring with the 'disamenities' to local residents.

He said it was impossible to segregate the foreign worker population - now at 577,000, excluding domestic maids - so Singaporeans must 'be prepared to see them and share with them our common spaces'.


Temporary housing sites still needed

By Ang Yiying

Mah: Despite 4 options to house them, there's space shortage in short term.

THE foreign worker population here went up by 102,000 last year, double the jump of 55,000 a year ago.

And with major contruction works lined up, a let-up is unlikely.

The influx is ruffling a growing number of feathers too: Complaints relating to illegal housing of foreign workers numbered 300 last year, but the number has already shot past 300 so far this year.


All-round effort to help them fit in

By Ang Yiying

The Straits Times finds out how the problems of housing foreign workers were solved in different parts of Singapore.

NATIONAL Development Minister Mah Bow Tan yesterday held up Jalan Kayu as a residential area which has made efforts to accommodate the foreign workers in the neighbourhood.

After two dorms housing 6,000 workers were built there three years ago, a fence was built to get around the problem of foreign workers taking short-cuts through the residential areas, said Mr Wee Siew Kim, a Member of Parliament for Ang Mo Kio GRC and adviser to the Jalan Kayu grassroots groups.

Another move: Including recreational amenities within the dorm compound, and setting up a beer garden near the dormitories so foreign workers do not need to gather in public spaces.


A place to unwind after work

By Melissa Sim

A RECREATION complex for foreign workers living in Jurong West will come up by the end of this year.

The complex, now being built in Soon Lee Road, will house a football field, an amphitheatre for ethnic movies, multi-purpose sports courts, postal & remittance facilities, a beer garden, a medical station, a canteen, a supermarket with ethnic foods and lots of open spaces.

Mr Cedric Foo, a Member of Parliament for West Coast GRC, told The Straits Times: 'This is a way to show our appreciation for their contributions to the economy and also provide them proper facilities to unwind, relax and socialise after work. Such a facility sure beats HDB void decks.'

No comments: