Updates on the foreign worker dormitory situation

The living conditions of the migrant workers came under spotlight yesterday. And yesterday, this magazine carried a short rant about how Singaporeans opposed the authorities for welfare and spending to be allocated to the migrant workers.

Yesterday, Manpower Minister Josephine Teo promised to look into the matter but will give priority to matters of pressing concern to the nation first.

Very quickly, the machinery kicked into action. To give you an idea of the scale; in the S11 dormitory alone there are about 40,000 meals needed. Normally the foreign workers don’t eat catered food – they prefer to cook. Now the situation is different.

Cleaning is now happening more frequently. Cleaning equipment is provided and they are now organised to do area cleaning.

There are medical stations setup to treat workers who are ill, take swabs and isolation facilities for those who require it.

Wifi services are implemented and even mobile markets are starting to take shape and operationalise.

And on top of that, there is fake news to battle. Mischief makers are taking old photographs, or photos without context, accusing the workers of being ill fed or fed prison-type food. These are making their rounds on WhatsApp.

The following are the food that the workers have been provided with:

If you want to help out, it is far better to channel it to buying snacks with a longer expiration date. It will help with operations as these can be distributed in an orderly way. If you’re giving money to an unknown organisation, please make sure this organisation can handle the money responsibly.

  1. It is sad that the state of affairs of some of our foreign worker dorms has been thrown into spotlight once again and this time through an unfortunate episode, COVID-19 infections. First it is the responsibility of the dorm operator to ensure that every rom and other amenities in the facility is kept clean at all times. The operators sure know well that workers from the country that they hail form may not have very high levels of public hygiene espacially after the way they themselves have lived in their villages and hometown. So, lesson learnt for the operator- don’t assume the migrant worker will always follow your instructions. Now they too unfortunately have to pay the cost of a lockdown and isolation.Next the worker himself. Bhaiyaa- this is not Bangladesh. Anneh- this is not India. This is spik and span clean Singapore. Please be a bit more responsible for the place you stay and for your personal well being. Now is the time to clean up and personally improve your hygiene levels. Get together with your fellow brothers and clean up your act. We love you and salute you for the hard work and contributions you make for our country’s economic and infrastructure development. Stay safe for yourself and the family you are earning so hard to support back in your hometown.

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