Monday, December 24, 2007

Foreign Workers Problems: HDB Complaint calls & Crime rate

It is a solid fact that there are foreign workers everywhere in Singapore. Every now and then, you would hear news of residents complaining about them being a nuisance for littering, drinking, gambling etc in our HDB heartlands.

Although we know it’s not the intention of most foreign workers to create trouble in Singapore, it would be interesting to find out about the number of complaint calls to HDB against them in the recent years. But strange enough, I couldn’t seem to find any piece of information or press release on HDB’s website. Did we see an increase or not? And if there is an increasing trend, what has HDB done to alleviate the problem?

Second, the Police published the year 2006 statistics on the crime rate of foreign workers in Singapore:

The number of foreigners arrested for crime decreased by 278 persons from 3,036 to 2,758 persons in 2006. They accounted for about 14% of the total persons arrested, same as in 2005. More than half (1,632 persons or 59%) of the foreigners were arrested for theft and related offences, with shop theft accounting for 31% of the offences.

Yes, from the data it seemed the recent influx of foreigners did not seem to cause a jump in the number of criminal cases concerning foreign workers. However, those were just recorded offences. I believe there are many other cases which were probably not recorded due to their nature (drunken rowdiness, loitering etc). Wouldn’t it be appropriate if the Police could provide the public with this piece of information too?

The following was obtained from The Straits Times:

Foreign workers to help keep Jalan Kayu safe

ONE friendly neighbourhood patrol, in Jalan Kayu, has taken on a new group of recruits: Foreign workers living in the area.

About 40 of them will take turns joining neighbourhood police and local residents on their weekly patrols of Jalan Kayu, which is near neighbourhoods in Seletar, Yio Chu Kang and Ang Mo Kio.

The programme, called the Jalan Kayu Rangers Community Safety and Security Project, is a joint effort by the Jalan Kayu Citizens' Consultative Committee, the area's neighbourhood committee and the Sengkang Neighbourhood Police Centre.

It was launched on Sunday morning by Mr Wee Siew Kim, an MP for Ang Mo Kio GRC and adviser to Jalan Kayu grassroots organisations.

He said the idea for the programme came about after old three- and four-room residential blocks along Seletar West Farmway 6 were converted last year into two dormitories for 6,000 mainly Indian, Bangladeshi and Thai foreign workers.

'While there has not been any reported conflict between foreign workers and the residents, we hear of residents complaining about drunken rowdiness, littering and loitering in large numbers,' said Mr Wee.

'So, we started this programme as a preventive measure - a way for 'mentor foreign workers' to help their peers understand our laws and social norms.'

So far, 38 foreign workers have undergone a four-month training programme on aspects such as first aid at the workplace and the anti-littering and anti-spitting rules in Singapore.

But they are not the first to help spread the anti-crime message among their peers.

Since March, some have been trained to serve as Foreign National Crime Prevention 'ambassadors' in a police initiative.


Anonymous said...

There could be more crimes if the foreign workers turn against the volunteer foreigner vigilantes when drunk or for whatever other reasons.

Anonymous said...

is ridiculous, asking indians to add on to the problems created by these same indian workers...many of them are illegal workers but nobody bothers..

more action by our indians and banglas foreign workers. drinking beer and alcohol and lying on the floors of hdb void decks at klang lane and terrorising hdb residents at belilios road , klang lane.

Anonymous said...

Whose behaviour is uglier? The workers lying on the floor of hdb void decks, etc or Singaporeans…..The local agencies and employers (including multi-million dollar companies’ owners) charged the workers exorbitant sum, as high as $8-10k to give them a $600-1000 job and work 10-12 hrs a day, $3-5K out of the $8-10k goes to the employer. The employers are already not paying a single cent to agencies to hire the workers, instead they demand the agencies to get the workers to pay extra $3-5k to them as a condition to hire them. Even if the employers did not demand, the agencies here will make such offer, so that they can be more competitive than other agencies who do not have such offers. I understand the agencies need to earn a profit for providing their services, but why are the employers making “profit” out of their foreign workers, who are contributing the hard labour to their companies?! Due to housing shortage, many landlords take advantage of the situation and charge exorbitant rental, e.g. $300 per pax for 6 pax in 1 bedroom! Dear Singaporeans, who is uglier? We may put it simply that there’s demand, there’s supply, but has anyone thought of the consequences should these unscrupulous people continue to exist? If the workers are unable to recover their “investment”, will it lead them to committing crimes (theft, robbery….) or creating other social problems due to desperation? Dear Ministers, can the authorities help?

Koh said...

Presently Blk.2 Jalan Kukoh under upgrading.
The main contractor did not ensure safety for the elderly folks leaving on the higher floor.
I many occassion saw foreign workers using the passenger lift loading heavy goods. Not realising the lift is too old to carry the weight. I went to the contractor management office 2nd level Blk. 3 to inform them but they just don't bother. I saw security guard sitting in the management office (aircon) instead they should be at the lift ensuring the workers dont use the lift. I even ask the clerk who the person in charge of the project she refuse to give me the contact person and handphone no. As for myself I am staying on the 3rd level. I am only thinking of others old folk staying on the higher level. The lift had breakdown countless time when the do the upgrading. Hopefully we dont want to see an old folk walking down from the stair and die of heart attack or others.
My opinion the contractor only wants to make money with having compassion for the older folks residing in Blk. 2.

Anonymous said...

Lol. For our history homework, we were supposed to compare the first half and second half of your blog post for similarities and differences. Your post was split into two different sources...