Visit to Thai workers at the Murai Lodge II

On 25 February 2010 from 07.30 to 10.00 p.m., Miss Nutcha Tritabyapong, Minister Counsellor of the Office of Labour Affairs in Singapore led a team of four officers – namely Ms Tanya Laohathai, Consul, Mr. Srunyu Ampartrakarn, Second Secretary, Mr. Watcharakrit Yaem-Ot, Consular Officer at the Royal Thai Embassy and Mr. Rungroj Teekamongkol from the Office of Labour Affairs – to pay a visit to Thai workers at the Murai Lodge II which is a dormitory for foreign workers situated on 1A, Murai Farmway road, Lim Chu Kang Area.

The team received a warm welcome by Mr. Ramesh, Senior Manager of the Murai Lodge II, and Mr. Handy – both of whom are from VOBIS Enterprise Pte. Ltd. VOBIS Enterprise Pte. Ltd. is in charge of overseeing the welfare of foreign workers now residing at the Murai Lodge II.

The objectives of visiting Murai Lodge II are threefold – to observe welfare of the Thai workers residing at this particular dormitory, to listen to their problems both relating to their work and personal lives and finally, to encourage them to provide the Embassy and the Office of Labour Affairs with their personal and contact details by filling in the Embassy’s Registrations Forms for all Thais who are currently residing in Singapore. This is so that the Embassy and the Office of Labour Affairs can best provide them with timely assistance in case of emergencies and also to register those who wish to cast their votes in Singapore should there be an overseas election in the future.

Ms. Nutcha,Mrs. Tanya and Mr. Srunyu went on to brief the role of the Office of Labour Affairs and the Consular Section at the Royal Thai Embassy respectively. Thai workers were encouraged to take part in a number of activities which have now been made available in Singapore by the Thai Workers Association in order to better their standard of living here. Examples of such activities include the annual Football Tournament for Thai workers all over Singapore, language courses and long distance learning programme available at the Golden Mile Complex.

Thai workers were also informed of the hotline telephone numbers they may wish to call should they need help or advice from the Office of Labour Affairs and the Embassy. Each of them was also given a Manual for Thais living in Singapore.

During the Q&A Session which lasted nearly one hour, Thai workers raised a few complaints about their dormitory. Such complaints were then immediately conveyed to the senior manager of the Murai Lodge II who was observing the conversation between the team of Thai officers and Thai workers. Concrete solutions were discussed and promised by the senior manager who was more than happy to learn that, despite the minor complaints, Thai workers in general enjoy living at this dormitory. In response, the workers said that they were very happy to meet with all the Thai officers and expressed sincere appreciation in trying to improve their living condition. Everyone left with a smile on their face and promised to be in touch should they feel the need for some advice as they felt officers are nowadays much more accessible.

The Murai Lodge II Dormitory comprises 16 blocks of buildings, each of which has four storeys. It was opened last year and soon chosen to be the best dormitory of the year 2010. Currently, it houses a total of approximately eight thousand workers with different nationalities, including those from Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, China, Malaysia and Thailand. At present, there are a little less than one hundred Thai workers staying there. Facilities which are currently being provided at the Murai Lodge II include 24-hour security guard service, retina scanning system before each resident can enter the dormitory, cleaning service (once a day, everyday), one minimart, hawker centre and bar, kitchens, television rooms, internet rooms, game room, reading rooms, the sport ground, eight sick bays and fully-staffed laundry room which provides free service for residents seven days a week.