DPM Tharman at the Official Opening Ceremony of Aspri-Westlite Dormitory - Papan

DPM Tharman at the Official Opening Ceremony of Aspri-Westlite Dormitory - Papan

DPM Tharman Shanmugaratnam | 5 January 2018

 

Mr. Charles Quek, ASPRI President, 
Mr. David Loh and Mr. Han Seng Juan, Non-Executive Directors, 
Centurion Corporation Limited, 
Mr. Ong Pang Aik, Chairman and Managing Director of Lian Beng 
Group, 
Distinguished Guests 
Ladies and Gentlemen 

Introduction 

It is a real pleasure to be here with ASPRI members and all of you as we open the ASPRI-Westlite Dormitory-Papan. I’d like to thank ASPRI, Centurion Corporation and Lian Beng Group for spearheading this effort and bringing to life what was a vision just a couple of years ago. 

Much has been said by Charles and Tony on this new facility. I want to add that the development of this facility is significant for two reasons. 

Model of Collaboration with Industry Taking the Lead 

First of all, it is a very good example of collaboration between companies, where they work together to meet the needs of the industry as a whole. 

ASPRI worked with its member companies to identify the needs of the industry’s workforce. Together, they then worked closely with Centurion and Lian Beng, as partners to develop this impressive new facility. 

The industry also worked closely with government agencies. Charles spoke about how you worked closely with agencies like EDB, JTC, SSG and WSG in bringing this facility to fruition. 

This model of collaboration – with industry associations working closely with companies, and then collaborating with government agencies – is the way we must keep tackling challenges faced by industry - speeding up innovations, transforming productivity, ensuring employees’ interests are served, and opening up new markets. It is the way we have tackled past problems most effectively, and how we will keep moving ahead. 

Supporting Workers 

The second significance about this facility is that it reflects an enlightened view on the part of industry on the needs of its foreign workforce. ASPRI-Westlite has created a “Live, Learn, Play” environment for the workers who are residents here. This dormitory not only meets their accommodation needs, but also their social, recreational and learning needs. The dormitory features good recreational facilities like a gym and games room and other sports facilities. 

It is also important that you have chosen to co-locate the ASPRI integrated training centre within this development. The workers residing here can now enjoy heavily subsidised training courses at their doorstep. The convenience is not only a boon to workers but also their employers as the commute time is less and peak-hour movement of people in and out of Jurong Island is reduced. 

This integrated model - Live, Learn, Play - is an advance in how we treat our foreign workers. It is a far cry from the norms we saw in foreign worker dormitories less than a decade ago. It is also part and parcel of our efforts to engage our workers in ensuring a higher-productivity industry.

Conclusion 

So I commend all the stakeholders involved in making this project happen. First, the Process Construction and Maintenance (“PCM”) Management Committee, a multi-stakeholder committee led by EDB to improve productivity within the PCM sector and raise the competitiveness of local PCM companies. You have done good work since the PCM Committee’s inception in 2013. 

Second, ASPRI, for forging public-private partnerships to propel industry growth. And third, your commercial partners, Centurion Corporation and Lian Beng Group, for investing in this project and seeking to ensure it meets our collective needs. 

I wish ASPRI-IPI continued success in your vision to enable a safer and more productive workforce for the Process Industry. I urge all our industry stakeholders to work together for the continued growth and success of our Energy & Chemicals industry.