Eleven operators of Factory-Converted Dormitories (FCDs) were lauded for their exemplary efforts in managing foreign worker housing at the inaugural Dormitory Awards ceremony. Minister of State (MOS) for Manpower, MrTeoSer Luck, presented the awards to the winners at the event held at Suntec City Convention Centre. The ceremony was attended by 250 FCD operators and their residents.

Separately, the event also featured 10 foreign workers whose entries were selected as the top 10 winning entries in the "Home Away From Home" photo competition. The competition was held in conjunction with the dormitory awards.

Honouring Exemplary FCDs with the Dormitory Awards

The Dormitory Awards is organised by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), in partnership with the Dormitory Association of Singapore Limited (DASL) and the Migrant Workers Centre (MWC). The awards recognise FCD operators who adopt good dormitory management practices and go beyond compliance with regulatory standards to enhance the well-being of their residents.

A total of 30 submissions by FCDs were received between 8 November and 2 December 2016 for the awards. Of these, 11 FCDs emerged winners (Annex A) after site assessment and interviews were conducted. These FCDs stood out in five areas of assessment, namely:

1. Compliance with government requirements;

2. Provision of extra activities/ facilities for foreign workers;

3. Overall conditions and maintenance of premises;

4. Engagement with residents, and

5. Residents' feedback.

Apart from these criteria, the panel of judges was impressed with the FCD operators' efforts to go the extra mile for their residents. They have shown genuine interest in looking after the social and recreational needs of their residents, and adding the extra touches to provide a comfortable living environment for them.

Commenting on the Dormitory Awards, MrTeo, said, "We hope the awards will motivate more FCD operators to adopt industry-wide good practices to raise the overall standards of FCDs. A dormitory that provides a good living environment would enable its residents to get a good rest and be productive at work. I am sure there are more dormitories which are deserving of the award but may not have participated. I hope to see more award recipients at next year's event."

Added Mr Yeo GuatKwang, Chairman of MWC, "The announcement of the winners comes at a very pertinent time as it follows the widely reported recent court conviction of a company director that the MWC had probed and surfaced to the authorities. The awards allow the industry to showcase migrant workers housing best practices, particularly in the smaller, FCD sector, for dormitory operators to model after. The winning entries also demonstrate that providing comfortable and well-appointed lodging should not necessarily be viewed as a cost to business. The MWC is committed to partnering the authorities, dormitory industry association and dormitory industry players to raise migrant worker accommodation standards so that we can collectively weed out sub-standard housing by errant and profiteering operators."

Home Away From Home: A Photographic Story by Our Foreign Workers

Foreign workers living in FCDs were invited to participate in a photo competition, titled "Home Away From Home'. They had to submit photos of their favourite areas in their dormitories, and describe their personal experiences. Through their lenses, viewers were able to get a greater insight into their lives.

A total of 79 entries were received for the competition, held from 9 November to 2 December 2016. Through public voting and judging by MOM, the 10 entries were selected (Annex B) and the top three received prizes at the same event. The winning entries were exhibited at the event and compiled into a commemorative book. Copies of the book were distributed to participants at the event.

Source: Ministry of Manpower, Singapore