I was heartened recently to see many people calling for better treatment of migrant workers in Singapore and for there to be real reforms in their employment conditions.
I used to work for a shipyard that employed many such workers.
I was initially a little afraid of them, but I soon saw that they were friendly and hardworking.
They were diligent in carrying out work given to them.
I also became acutely aware of the contributions such workers make to Singapore's economy. Without them, Singapore's offshore and marine sector would not have become one of the best in the world for many years.
While practical reforms are a step in the right direction, it is equally important, in order to bring about real change, for Singaporeans to stop seeing migrant workers as a threat to our job security.
The current efforts by the Government to support all workers to upgrade their skills are commendable and will help to create more jobs for all in Singapore.
As Singaporeans, we should accept the reality that we will continue to need migrant workers in many of our industries to keep our economy competitive and hence our jobs secure.
Let us embrace migrant workers as part of the Singapore community.
Companies that employ migrant workers can help by making an effort to educate the public on the positive contributions of these workers.
Employers who treat migrant workers well should also be acknowledged.
Eva Ho Hiu Wah