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17 dormitories receive awards for excellence in foreign worker housing management

  1. 17 dormitory operators were lauded for being exemplary in managing and improving the living conditions of foreign worker dormitories at the second annual Dormitory Awards. Minister of State for Manpower, Mr Zaqy Mohamad, presented the awards to the winners at a dinner held at Suntec City Convention Centre. The award ceremony was attended by some 400 dormitory staff and foreign worker residents.
  2. At the event, Mr Zaqy also launched “DormWatch”, a new mobile application which aims to enhance the engagement between the dormitory operators and foreign workers on matters relating to dormitory conditions (refer to Annex A for the DormWatch Factsheet). Using the application, all parties will be able to track the status of feedback from foreign workers, which will be directed to their dormitory operator and shared with the Ministry of Manpower (MOM).  Dormitory operators will also be able to provide details on how the feedback has been addressed or resolved.

    Judging criteria on engagement programmes for foreign workers 
  3. The annual Dormitory Awards is organised by MOM, in partnership with the Dormitory Association of Singapore Limited (DASL) and the Migrant Workers’ Centre (MWC).
  4. This year, the awards were expanded to include purpose built dormitories. The judging criteria also placed more emphasis on the softer aspects of dormitory living, such as engagement of foreign workers, responsiveness to feedback, and ways in which the operators have cared for their residents’ emotional well-being. Dormitory operators were recognised for going beyond merely providing a living space, to offering services and programmes that meet the social and recreational needs of their residents.
  5. A total of 36 dormitories submitted applications this year. Of these, 17 dormitories emerged as winners.  The judging panel consisted of individuals from MOM, DASL and MWC.
  6. Commenting on the Dormitory Awards winners, Mr Zaqy said, “I am delighted to see how operators have engaged their residents to create communities and a sense of belonging. Both operators and foreign workers should continue to work together to up-lift dormitory standards and continually improve the living environment. I hope that the convenience of the Dormwatch app would encourage workers to have greater ownership in the improvements to their living conditions in the dormitories.”
  7. Added Mr Yeo Guat Kwang, Chairman of MWC, “It is heartening to see good employers and operators going the extra mile to look after the interests of their workers. They are fully aware that healthy and happy workers are productive workers, and that it is their responsibility to ensure their workers’ welfare is taken care of. Our migrant workers have come a long way to help build our country and economy, so it is only right that we look after their physical and emotional well-being while they are here, both at the workplace and in the places where they live and socialise. I would like to congratulate all of this year’s award winners for setting an example for others to follow, and encourage other dormitory operators to do the same.”
  8.  Mr Steven Lee, President of the Dormitory Association of Singapore Ltd, said, “Every dormitory has a responsibility to provide a safe and conducive environment for all foreign workers. It is crucial for dormitories to provide proper structure and facilities for their healthy and happy living. All dormitories must abide in providing a hygienic environment. By having the support of the Ministry of Manpower, the Singapore Police Force, and grassroots organisations, we are able to achieve a holistic approach in attaining our goals in proper care for every resident. As a whole, not only should we look at the physical needs of our residents, but also continue attending to their psychosocial needs. Treating them with care and affection, it will be a reflection of who we are as a nurturing society.”  

    “My Favourite Moments” Photo Competition
  9. In conjunction with the Dormitory Awards, MOM organised the second annual photo competition for foreign workers to submit photographs and include captions that showed their favourite, happy and fun moments in Singapore.
  10. A total of 524 entries were received with 50 shortlisted for judging by a panel comprising representatives from MOM, MWC, HealthServe and a Foreign Worker Ambassador. The top three and 10 other Merit and Consolation Prizes were presented to the winners at the event.