I managed to get some rest, not much but OK, thank you:)
Firstly, I would like to thank you for your perspective on this issue.
Secondly, i would like to give you my point of view to your replies.
"These workers are paid wages better than what they can earn back home, that is if they can even find employment. If they don't come, no sweat as there are others from same or other countries who are in th queue. So what criticality and what nonsensical assertion that Singapore is obligated to them, The reverse is more like it." (Point 1)
-I understand your point why these foreign workers should be 'obligated' to Singaporeans.what i also believe is that Singapore has an obligation to them too. The work that they do, generally construction, keeping the streets clean, and other blue collar jobs, are these the types of occupation that you would want to have or your kids to have? i don't think so. But these jobs are important for the development of your country. So, if Singaporeans don't do it, who else will? you need to rely on the foreign manpower, true?
What i also do not agree with is "that doesn't mean we must all embrace them as though they are fellow citizens or potential citizen-PRs". perhaps i do not quite understand your reason for this. they are currently residing in Singapore, earning wages in Singapore. What if, in time to come, they decide to stay as PRs? Will they still be an annoyance then too? why must there be a difference in treatment?
'Going by what you have said, you cannot be one of many bloggers who have in recent times lamented and sweared on foreign workers for causing overcrowded trains and buses and public spaces. And if you have spare rooms in your house, they deserve to live with you? '
-You are right. I do not blame them for the overcrowded public transport. Why should i? it IS for the public right? Are they not part of the public? And, if you do not want them taking public transport, and they cannot afford cars or licences, how do they travel? On foot? By bicycle? And, at which part of the day are foreign workers the primary cause of the overcrowding? If it is during the usual peakhours, then, shouldn't the blame be put on normal Singaporeans too? Everyone leaves and goes to work at roughly the same time. So, everyone is to blame for that.
there is also a difference between private area and public area. A house is obviously one's personal private area. It is up to the home owner whether he wants to open it up to foreign workers. That is a different matter altogether. I am not asking them to live in your house. But for them not to be able to use public ammenities is a little unfair don't you think? it is already open to the public, let them use it too. if Singaporeans don't want to share these ammenities, then use your own ammenities, transport, etc...
- The major part of the reply talked much on land value and taxpayer's money. I understand how this is a major issue for the residents. However, since i am no economics major, i shall not shoot myself in the toe by rebutting the econs part of the problem. I will just give my take on it. Honestly, it gives me the impression that money and property value is everything to Singaporeans. No doubt it is important. What i find hard to accept is how much the financial issue is overshadowing the lack of empathy, for the workers. With their rise in numbers, new dorms will have to be built to house them. Being a tiny country, where should the government squeeze more than 600 000 foreign workers residing in Singapore? There are already more than 50 commercially-run dorms, excluding other quarters and residential areas all over the island. Apparently these are insufficient.
Furthermore, these dorms at Serangoon Gardens are only temporary if im not wrong? Even if property prices decreases, with the departure of these workers from Burghley Drive in about 3-5 years time, wouldn property prices increase again? Im not sure if the government has assured better prices after the workers have shifted over to their permanent premises, but could that be a compromise between the residents and the government?
there are always two sides to an argument. in this case, the side of the residents and the side of the govt/workers. if both sides are able to understand where each other is coming from, the benefits, losses and assurances each side receives before, during and after the dorm is built, i feel that things will not get so heated up. (maybe i would not have gotten so worked up too.)
I have a question. If hypothetically speaking, the dorm is made to house foreign talents, not foreign workers. meaning foreign scholars, professionals(engineers, executives), etc, would that result in land prices dropping too? Would this Serangoon Gardens issue still be an issue? i guess in reality these foreign talents probably would have their own property in Singapore, but hypothetically speaking.
The reason i sounded angry in my post was because i do not understand the reason behind the lack of tolerance of Singaporeans towards foreign workers. I am also wondering if the same lack of tolerance applies to foreign talents. Because, honestly, i see a difference in treatment to these two pools of foreigners. Is it is due to the preconceived notions Singaporeans have on them based on what we see, hear and maybe smell, or have Singaporeans actually faced many many bad experiences with foreign workers, and none at all with foreign talents?
I am not trying to sound like a saint, loving everyone and all creatures, etc. i just feel that Singaporeans are taking foreign workers for granted and are not appreciating them enough. imagine a Singapore without foreign workers?
And now i'm tired. good morning!