Foreign construction workers need more than just basic housing

National Development Minister Mah Bow Tan said the number of foreign construction workers in Singapore has gone up, and they would need more than just basic housing.

“Because the numbers are so large, we also need to look into purpose-built facilities for them. For example, the foreign workers dormitories. We cannot just build housing for them without looking at all the other facilities like sports and entertainment facilities.

“So, in the new type of foreign worker dormitory, we hope to be able to make it more self-contained rather than just building a dorm with beds,” said Mr Mah.

The minister was speaking to Singapore reporters after visiting the Auckland Regional Migrant Services (ARMS), a non-governmental organisation (NGO).

ARMS helps many migrants and refugees assimilate into New Zealand culture. The organisation said housing often plays a big role in how the different races mix.

The Singapore delegation was keen to know how the Kiwis deal with the high influx of foreigners into New Zealand. They were also briefed on the services provided by ARMS as well as the problems encountered.

Mr Mah said grassroots leaders in Singapore perform similar functions to NGOs like ARMS.

The minister is accompanying President SR Nathan on his state visit to New Zealand. – CNA /ls

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 29 Apr 2008

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