Foreign workers need not worry if haven’t broken the law: Shanmugam
- POSTED: 17 Dec 2013 22:50
- UPDATED: 19 Feb 2014 18:45
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Foreign Affairs and Law Minister K Shanmugam has reassured foreign workers in Singapore that they should not worry if they have not broken the law.
SINGAPORE: Foreign Affairs and Law Minister K Shanmugam has reassured foreign workers in Singapore that they should not worry if they have not broken the law.
He was speaking during a dormitory visit on Tuesday to Terusan Lodge in Jurong, where he interacted with some 450 workers during a dialogue session.
Indian worker Sakthivel Kumaravelu, whose death in a traffic accident sparked the Little India riot on December 8, had stayed at that dormitory.
Workers at the dormitory said they cannot drink there.
And one of their suggestions during the dialogue session was to have an area in the dormitory where they could consume alcohol.
This is Mr Shanmugam's third dormitory visit so far, and he said he may do more in the coming weeks.
He said workers are generally happy working in Singapore.
And he emphasised that those who follow the laws in the country will be allowed to carry on with their jobs.
"Those who have been involved in the riot actively or passively, they will be dealt with. And all the workers accept that this is fair.
“ Those who have no role in it, need not worry. They came here to work, earn some money and go back, they will be allowed to do that,” said Mr Shanmugam.
The minister also spoke about the additional 53 workers who were rounded up on Tuesday for their role in the riot.
The Home Affairs Ministry had said earlier on Tuesday that they would be repatriated after being issued a stern warning, and will be prohibited from returning to Singapore.
Mr Shanmugam explained why an administrative rather than a judicial approach is being taken with regard to the repatriation process.
He said: “If every case has got to go to court, and the judge makes a decision, then repatriation decisions become judicial rather than administrative, then every foreigner is entitled to stay here at tax payers’ expense, housed at tax payers’ expense, it could stretch on a year more. “