SINGAPORE: More dedicated gathering spaces to meet the needs of foreign workers will be launched in the future, said Acting Manpower Minister Tan Chuan-Jin.
Delivering a ministerial statement on foreign workforce management in Parliament on Monday, Mr Tan also said alternative recreation spots specially catered for foreign workers will never totally replace such shared spaces like Little India.
Mr Tan said Little India has naturally evolved over time to cater to foreign workers’ physical and emotional needs, providing a spot for meeting up and relaxation.
He asked Singaporeans to understand and appreciate the need for such shared spaces.
Mr Tan cautioned against generalising that there is widespread and systemic abuse of the foreign workforce, or come to a premature conclusion that it was the root cause of the Little India riot in December 2013.
He said foreign workers in Singapore are, by and large, treated decently by their employers.
While the situation is not perfect, surveys commissioned by the government have found that the vast majority of foreign workers are satisfied with their overall experience working in Singapore and find the country to be an attractive destination to earn a living.
Mr Tan said the government will continue to improve the management of foreign workers’ well-being.