Don't forget role of foreign workers

Before the cacophony of well-deserved praises on the achievements and successes of the SG50 celebrations fades into memory, Singaporeans need to also acknowledge and thank the more than one million foreign workers here (as well as those who have returned to their home countries) who have contributed much to the building of this nation.

They include about 100,000 Malaysians who commute daily from Johor Baru to work, as well as the hundreds of thousands of labourers from India, Bangladesh, China and other countries, who constructed the many edifices that symbolise the success of Singapore. We must not forget the 200,000 domestic workers who free Singaporeans from their household chores to power the nation, and who look after many of our pioneers.

These foreign workers are thankful to Singapore for providing them the opportunities that their home countries sadly fail to generate adequately.

Singaporeans need, however, to pause and ponder what their lives would be like if the more than one million foreign workers were not here.

Ngian Kian Fah

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 11, 2015, with the headline 'Don't forget role of foreign workers'. Print Edition | Subscribe