Forum: Why foot the bill for dorm operators that have profited for years?

Security personnel inside Toh Guan Dormitory on May 13, 2020. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

Singaporeans have now learnt that operating mega dormitories for foreign workers is not a bad business at all (Rethink mega dorms beyond Covid-19 outbreak, May 14). For example, for the 2019 financial year, the net profits of Singapore Exchange-listed companies Centurion Corp, Wee Hur Holdings and Lian Beng Group from their dormitory and other businesses were $103.8 million, $34.9 million and $32.9 million, respectively.

Singaporeans must therefore be puzzled as to why taxpayers will now be footing the bill for the increased operating costs incurred by such operators due to the dormitory lockdowns and stay-home notices (Govt to absorb added costs for dorm operators during circuit breaker, May 12).

At a time when many deserving demands are competing for tight public finances, those who have profited for years from business models that have now come home to roost must not expect taxpayers to clean up after them.

Cheng Shoong Tat

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 16, 2020, with the headline Forum: Why foot the bill for dorm operators that have profited for years?. Subscribe