Singaporeans told to welcome foreign workers

Other News Materials 3 November 2008 05:14 (UTC +04:00)

Singaporeans have been told to welcome foreign workers and expatriates because the the labour they contribute is in the city-states's national interest, according to media news reports Monday.

Law Minister K Shanmugam on Sunday said that foreign workers play an important role in building housing, roads and infrastructure in Singapore, dpa reported.

"There are some jobs that Singaporeans won't do, and then there are some jobs that Singaporeans cannot do," he told Channel News Asia. "... We need to be welcoming our guest workers. We need to be welcoming our expatriates, all of that in pursuit of our national interest."

He highlighted the need for international corporations to have expatriates on staff, often in top management positions.

Some Singaporeans have been complaining about the presence of large numbers of foreign workers from South Asian and South-East Asian countries.

Some of the local complaints relate to housing problems for foreign workers and or alleged involvement in anti-social activities.

Government leaders have noted that Singaporeans were not keen on working in construction, which has been a booming segment of the city-state's economy.

Several hundred thousand foreigners combined work in Singapore's construction, services and hospitality sectors.