Updated: 07/08/2014 01:38

Foreign Workers happy to be in S'pore

Foreign Workers happy to be in S'pore

Findings of the Committee of Inquiry for Little India Riot has "put to rest" speculation that foreign workers' dissatisfaction was the underlying cause of the Little India riot. 

Manpower Minister Tan Chuan-Jin said this in Parliament today. 

However, he added that the MOM "fully accepts" the COI's observation that there is always room to improve the situation. 

Speaking in Parliament, Minister Tan says a survey conducted by the MOM and Migrant Workers Centre early this year, found that 9 in 10 foreign workers are satisfied with working in Singapore, and plan to continue working here after their current stint. 

8 out of 10 said they would recommend Singapore to their friends and relatives as a place for work - a 10% increase since 2011. 

Satisfactory pay, working and living conditions were the top three reasons. 

"In addition to these survey findings, the fact is that over 70% of foreign workers renew their contracts after the first two years. Taken together, these pieces of evidence suggest that the majority of foreigners continue to consider Singapore an attractive place to work." 

Still, Mr Tan said his Ministry is not taking the current state of affairs for granted. 

For instance, employers who mistreat workers will be taken to task. 

The MOM will also implement measures to further improve the lives of foreign workers. 

These include making available more services and amenities to foreign workers outside of congregation areas such as Little India, and improving its outreach to them. 

It will speed up the construction of dormitories which, beyond providing adequate living space, have in-built amenities and recreational facilities to take care of the daily basic living needs of workers. 

"Over time, we aim for more workers to be accommodated in such self-contained housing facilities which will reduce their need to travel far for basic services." 

Besides, the MOM will also be rolling out a regulatory framework for large dormitories that have a larger impact on their surrounding communities. 

Mr Tan says MOM will look into creating more targeted and easy-to-understand materials to send key messages to workers more effectively. 

The ministry will also look to collaborating with partners like student volunteers - many of who have expressed an interest in befriending foreign worker groups. 

-By Lee Gim Siong

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