SINGAPORE: Former minister Yaacob Ibrahim apologised on Tuesday (Apr 7) for a post he made on Facebook about foreign workers congregating near Kallang MRT station, TODAY reported.
In the now-deleted Facebook post which was put up on Sunday, Dr Yaacob attached a picture of a field next to the station, noting that it was "empty".
He said that foreign workers and domestic workers usually congregated in the open space till late night on Sundays, causing "some inconveniences to my residents".
Dr Yaacob, who is a Member of Parliament for the Jalan Besar GRC, added: "We have developed a plan to tackle this challenge.
"But it takes a virus to empty the space."
The post had been widely shared, and criticised for being "insensitive" amid a spike in the number of foreign workers who tested positive for COVID-19, with three dormitories being gazetted as isolation areas.
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“I apologise for that line, it was never intended in any way (to discriminate),” TODAY quoted Dr Yaacob as saying in an interview.
He added that residents had been affected by the litters and noise caused by foreign workers gathering in the area.
"We have never shooed them away … We have never asked them to leave but asked them please don’t litter the place and please lower your volume," said Dr Yaacob.
He also said that he had taken down the Facebook post because "a lot of people" misunderstood his position, and to avoid creating "any further confusion".