New dormitories planned for post-Covid migrant workers

Updated: Oct 2, 2021

SINGAPORE: Two new dormitories, with facilities such as larger living spaces and en-suite bathrooms, will be built next year, the Singapore government has announced.

The improved standard of living for some 12,500 migrant workers "strengthens resilience" against future pandemics and "enhances liveability", said the Ministry of Manpower on 17 September.

More than 50,000 Covid-19 cases have been recorded in worker dormitories since the start of the pandemic. The improved standards were developed by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), the Ministry of National Development (MND), and the Ministry of Health (MOH), alongside architects, dormitory operators, and migrant workers.

"The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of strengthening the resilience of our migrant worker dormitories, which house many workers in our land-scarce Singapore," Manpower Minister Tan See Leng told local media.

Minister Leng acknowledged that the new facilities would be more expensive to build and operate. However, it remained they would become vital pieces of infrastructure in post-Covid Singapore. "Prevention is always better than cure, especially as we've seen the potentially grave implications of a disease outbreak on migrant workers and employers in Singapore's economy," he said.

The new dormitories will include modular living, more spacious rooms, WI-Fi coverage, and better ventilation in rooms and toilets. The two new purpose-built dormitories will be launched at Kranji and Jalan Tukang and be completed in the next three years. Together, they will provide at least 12,500 beds - the Kranji site will have at least 10,000 beds, while the Jalan Tukang site in Jurong will have about 2,500 beds.

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