Foreign workers fill a need

Foreign workers fill a need
Foreign construction workers working on the facelift of the SLF building of Thomson Road.

There are blue-collar jobs such as cleaners, construction workers and renovation workers which most Singaporeans wouldn't want to do ("Paying the price of closing S'pore's gates"; Feb 8).

Restricting the number of foreign workers for these jobs will not improve productivity.

Many renovation projects are unable to be delivered on time due to the shortage of workers, who are spread too thin. They are not motivated to work faster as they are unlikely to be paid more. This results in inconvenience to residents as projects are dragged out.

We are worried about straining our infrastructure and balancing social issues if we let in more foreign workers.

But the Little India riot in 2013, which involved mostly foreign workers, was a one-off case. Foreign workers know they have to abide by the laws here, which carry heavy punishments if they are flouted.

If we allow blue-collar jobs to be taken up by foreign workers, our economy can grow, and there will be less inconvenience to Singaporeans.


This article was first published on February 18, 2015.
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