- POSTED: 12 Dec 2013 23:06
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Singapore’s Minister for Law and Foreign Affairs K Shanmugam on Thursday provided further views on the rationale behind the planned ban on the sale and consumption of alcohol this weekend.
SINGAPORE: Singapore’s Minister for Law and Foreign Affairs K Shanmugam on Thursday provided further views on the rationale behind the planned ban on the sale and consumption of alcohol this weekend.
Mr Shanmugam was speaking during a visit to Simpang Lodge 1.
He said: "The signal is that this weekend we want to go the extra mile to make sure that everything is completely locked down and safe. Primarily, because of the nearness in time… (there is a) possibility of copycat acts.
“So you take no chances. So you do much more than is necessary and if you're a resident in the area, you'll welcome it and if you're outside, you'll understand why, because this is really to protect the area, to protect the residents, so people will understand I think."
Mr Shanmugam also said on Thursday reports by international media that foreign workers in the country are disaffected need to be backed up with evidence.
He said: "What evidence is there for all this? That these workers were deeply disaffected and that is why the riot took place. I'm not saying you can't say it, but I would like to see some evidence to back up a fairly substantive statement like that. All I can see is assertions and the fact that you repeat the assertions doesn't make it a fact."
Mr Shanmugam was speaking to the media during a visit to a workers dormitory in Yishun, Simpang Lodge 1, on Thursday evening, where he had a half-hour dialogue with some 200 foreign workers.
He said he has spoken to a number of workers over the past two days, and they had shared that they like working in Singapore as they can upgrade their skills, and do not have complaints about their living conditions.
My Shanmugam added this is consistent with what workers have told the Manpower Ministry.
He elaborated the bulk of workers said they had the option to go to many places, but had chosen to come to Singapore.
On the issue of employment terms and salaries, Mr Shanmugam said the workers also know their rights, and if employers do not pay them, they will complain and action will be taken within a week.
But he stressed even more can be done: "That doesn't mean that every employer is clean, that there's no mistreatment as I said yesterday (Wednesday). There will be these things that happen, and it's important that we identify them. It's important that people bring them up to us.
“We must continue to look into work practices, living conditions. While they say they are happy with their dormitories, it doesn't mean we rest that way. We've got to continue to look at it, see what else we can do, and I think we've got to look at longer-term solutions as well."