I AGREE that Singapore has a responsibility to provide decent facilities for foreign workers who are here to build our housing and infrastructure ("Move beyond dollars and cents for our guest workers"; Aug 21).
They are not refugees and deserve the dignity enjoyed by our workforce. The Government has an obligation to ensure they are fairly treated.
If foreign workers in other industries have proper housing to rest and sleep in, why should workers in the construction sector be treated differently?
Employers who cite high costs and long travelling times as reasons for not housing their workers in dormitories merely want to maximise profits.
The Government collects a lot of money from foreign worker levies. It should use some of this money to improve the workers' living conditions.
Living quarters on worksites and factory-converted dormitories should be phased out. Foreign workers must be housed in dormitories approved by the Building and Construction Authority, with decent space between beds and lockers as well as ancillary facilities.
The Government can help by offering discounts for construction firms to house their workers in approved dormitories.
It would be more meaningful to raise the overall living standard for foreign workers when the Government shares the cost by reducing, say, $100, from the levy for each worker staying in an approved dormitory.
We need a concerted effort to change the status quo. The least we could do is offer decent living conditions to make their working experience here a pleasant one.