Saturday, October 4, 2008

Dormitory Decision Upsets Some Serangoon Gardens Residents

Source : Channel NewsAsia, 03 October 2008

Despite the various mitigating measures being proposed, some residents in Serangoon Gardens did not take too well to the news that a foreign workers' dormitory is going to be set up in the area.

Foreign workers in Singapore (file picture)

The dormitory will be at the former Serangoon Garden Technical School site, just right across the road from the residents.

There is going to be additional fencing to keep workers in as well as planters to screen the site. But is this a satisfactory compromise for residents?

"I am fed up!" a woman screamed from her car.

"I am thinking of moving out," said a resident.

Serangoon Gardens housing estate (TODAY's photo)

"We are living with people; they move around. If you fence them up, and say 'this is your area, this is my area', I don't think it is going to work," said Angela Yeo, a resident at Burghley Drive.

Although the dormitory is for foreign workers in the manufacturing and services sectors, residents said it does not mean security is less of a concern.

Chen Sung Sheng, a resident at Burghley Drive, said: "I think it is the same, isn't it? It all boils down to the same... foreign workers, regardless of what they are working as. Of course, we can't say that all foreign workers are bad. But majority of us are not very happy about it."

The former Serangoon Garden Technical School

The other issue that irks residents - the way the decision was made.

"The whole consultation process, while it was useful, it kind of makes the residents feel 'what was the point?'" said Lim Chia Joo, a resident at Burghley Drive.

However, some felt the proposed measures have helped allay their concerns.

Rose Tan, a Serangoon Gardens resident, said: "If, after that study, they think that it is feasible to go ahead with the project, I am sure they would have taken steps to address the many concerns that were raised by the residents."

Residents are asking the police to step up patrols in the area. They also want the police post, which operates from noon to 10pm, to extend its opening hours. - CNA/ir

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