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Opening remarks at Official Opening of Westlite Mandai Dormitory

Mr Tan Chuan-Jin, Acting Minister for Manpower, Westlite Mandai Dormitory

Distinguished guests

Ladies and gentlemen

  1. A very good evening to everyone present.
  2. I am happy to join all of you today at the official opening of the Westlite Mandai Dormitory, a joint development between Lian Beng Group and Centurion Corporation.
  3. Dormitories like Westlite Mandai play an important role for foreign workers here. Developments such as this complement the Singapore government’s efforts to ensure that the well-being of foreign workers is taken care of, and enable employers to fulfil their obligation to provide appropriate accommodation for these workers. We appreciate the foreign workers’ contribution to Singapore’s continuing growth and development. And I think it’s only right that they are properly taken care of in the course of their employment here. Not just in terms of the physical infrastructure – and that is important – but I think it is the way in which the physical infrastructure and services are provided for the workers itself.
  4. In particular, by having facilities that cater not only to workers’ basic living requirements, but also their social and recreational needs, dormitory developers and operators such as Lian Beng and Centurion demonstrate that they do shoulder a higher social mission.
  5. Thus, as we provide foreign workers with basic accommodation, we must not neglect their social and recreational needs. Westlite has done well in this respect - the dormitory features good recreational facilities like a gym, games room and sports courts. And Westlite also organises social activities and events for residents on an on-going basis. I would very much like to encourage other dormitories, especially the larger, purpose-built ones, to also look into how they too can fulfil the needs of their foreign worker residents.
  6. Last month, I mentioned that we will be developing a regulatory framework for larger dormitories, as part of our ongoing efforts to better manage and look after our foreign workers who are here in Singapore. Just yesterday, we had a discussion with some key industry players, such as members of the Dormitory Association of Singapore Limited, the Singapore Contractors Association Limited, and PSA. We had a useful dialogue and will take forth the feedback gathered on board as we develop the regulatory framework in the coming months.
  7. In closing, I would like to once again congratulate Lian Beng and Centurion on the opening of Westlite Mandai, and thank them for their contributions to a well-managed foreign workforce. I would like to take the opportunity to thank our foreign friends here from various countries such as India, Bangladesh and China. A very big thank you to all of you, for all the efforts in building Singapore, and for providing many of the facilities and services to our fellow Singaporeans. Thank you.