Poor living condition was one of reasons that Chinese bus driver of SMRT went on illegal strike on Nov, 2012. For regulating and fostering acceptable and good condition accommodations to foreign workers, eight top Singapore dormitory operators formed the Dormitory Association of Singapore on Dec, 2012. The eight top dormitory vendors provide over 100,000 beds in Singapore market, are the founding member of the association (Amelia Tan 2012).Dormitory Association of Singapore

DASL expects more dorms’ operators to join the association and meet the industry standard. To improve the living conditions of workers’ accommodations and guide the operation of dorms’ operators, some guidelines will be released to the market by association sooner or later. For example, ‘Foundational Benchmark Standard for Dormitory Housing’ (Kelvin 2012) lists 53 points which cover the area of living facilities, room facilities, sanitary facilities, food safety, general wellness management, and so on. The standard of food safety is specified with 5 keys, namely, Keep Clean, Separate Raw and Cooked, Cook Thoroughly, Keep Food at Safe Temperatures, and Use Safe Water and Raw Materials. The accreditation will be authorized to those dormitories which achieved the standard.

On the one hand, the monthly cost per dormitory bed increased dramatically from ‘SGD 85-95 in 2005 to SGD 285-350 in 2012’ (Amelia Tan 2012). On the other hand, some of foreign workers complain the poor living conditions which mean the quality of dormitory has not been improved the same level as the rental increase. According to MOM statistics, there are ‘722,800 Work Permit holders, excluding Foreign Domestic Workers, as of June 2012’ (Ministry of Manpower 2013). The foreign workers are the marginalization of group people who lack of interaction and understanding with the local community. To somehow, the spotlight on recent dormitory case enhances the service from dormitory vendors and facilitates public attention on the living of foreign workers.

Dormitory Association of Singapore Limited, self-regulated organization, will work close with Singapore authority and related agencies and focus on improving the quality of dormitory. It is undoubtedly as a praiseworthy effort that this newly-formed organization will foster more dormitory operators to dedicate the improvement of Singapore dormitory industry and promotes the development of dormitory business in the future.

Reference List:

Amelia Tan 2012, Dorm operators form association to raise standards, [online]. Available at URL: http://www.straitstimes.com/breaking-news/singapore/story/dorm-association-formed-raise-standards-20121217 [Accessed 17 Jan 2013].

Ministry of Manpower 2013, Foreign Workforce Numbers, [online]. Available at URL: http://www.mom.gov.sg/statistics-publications/others/statistics/Pages/ForeignWorkforceNumbers.aspx [Accessed 17 Jan 2013].