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Foreign workers deserve better living conditions

I applaud The Sunday Times for its feature highlighting the living conditions of foreign workers here ("A taste of life in an 'HDB-style' dorm for workers"; last Sunday).

I once visited a dormitory, and it did not come close to the standard of the "HDB-style" dorm.

It was stuffy, with poor ventilation, and had no facilities such as television. It had all sorts of smells and big bedbugs.

Foreign workers mostly do not complain about bad living conditions - they are here to work hard to earn money to send home. They do not want to be sent back to their villages before they are ready.

I lived in such conditions in my younger days, and therefore understand and empathise with such workers.

They deserve better living conditions for the tremendous help they give to Singapore.

They deserve better living conditions for the tremendous help they give to Singapore. Without them, who is going to build our skyscrapers and homes, cut the grass and prune the trees? Who is going to clear the rubbish and work under the hot sun at construction sites? Without their hard work, there will be many potholes on our roads.

The mindset of looking down on such workers and not wanting them in our "backyards" should change.

Sim Beng Tiong

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on April 03, 2016, with the headline 'Foreign workers deserve better living conditions'. Print Edition | Subscribe