Two thirds of Singaporeans believe government is doing enough for migrant workers

Two thirds of Singaporeans believe government is doing enough for migrant workers
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Majority agree migrant workers living conditions need to be more strictly regulated

Singapore continues to battle the rising number of COVID-19 cases – the vast majority of which comprise of migrant workers residing in dormitories. Latest YouGov data looks at what Singaporeans think of the large number of migrant worker cases and satisfaction with measures taken.

The surge of migrant worker cases since last month has subjected Singapore to a lot of criticism, and exposing the cramped, crowded and poor living conditions of low-wage foreign workers. The majority (87%) of Singaporeans agree that their living conditions need to be more strictly regulated – with three in five (60%) strongly agreeing and over a quarter (27%) slightly agreeing. One in ten (10%) are undecided, and a small percentage (4%) disagree.

Since the outbreak, the government has been quick to issue guidelines and conduct “aggressive testing” of workers. Two-thirds (65%) of Singaporeans agree that the government is doing enough for migrant workers during this COVID-19 situation. Older Singaporeans (aged 55 and above) are much more likely to be satisfied with government measures than younger Singaporeans (aged 18 to 24) (69% vs. 53%). One in five (21%) are undecided, and the remaining one in seven (14%) feel that the government is not doing enough.

Singaporeans appear to be less satisfied with employers than the government however; with under two in five (38%) agreeing that enough has been done for migrant workers. Three in ten (31%) are undecided and the remaining three in ten (31%) think that employers are not doing enough.

Singaporeans appear to be relatively satisfied with community initiatives to support migrant workers during this pandemic. Almost two thirds (58%) agree that the local community is doing enough. Again, older Singaporeans (aged 55 and above) are much more likely to be satisfied with community initiatives than younger Singaporeans (aged 18 to 24) (64% vs. 47%). Under three in ten (28%) are undecided, and the remaining one in seven (14%) think that the local community is not doing enough.

While two-thirds (65%) are satisfied with governmental measures for migrant workers during the pandemic, three quarters (74%) of Singaporeans as a whole believe that the government has handled COVID-19 well according to YouGov’s Global COVID-19 Tracker. One in seven (14%) think the government has done very well and three in five (60%) think they have done fairly well. One in six (17%) think they have handled the issue fairly badly, and one in twenty (6%) think they have handled it very badly. The remaining 3% are undecided.

Jake Gammon, Head of Omnibus APAC at YouGov commented: “The issue surrounding migrant workers living conditions has resulted in polarising opinions both regionally and globally, and this is no different in Singapore. We wanted to find out how various stakeholders have responded to the situation locally – data shows they are most satisfied with the government, followed by the local community and the least satisfied with employers. This is perhaps unsurprising, as a large amount feel that the Singaporean government has done well in tackling and overall handling of the pandemic.”

***Results based on 1,055 Singaporeans surveyed by YouGov Omnibus