Previously, when Singapore closed its borders to ASEAN countries, we exempted the people crossing in from land or sea because, well, it can make things really complicated.
Unfortunately, it seems Malaysia doesn’t have the same reservations.
Malaysians who travel daily into Singapore for work or study won’t be able to do so from 18 Mar 2020.
This was confirmed by Immigration director-general Khairul Dzaimee Daudin via a WhatsApp message to news site Malaysiakini.
They will be included in the lockdown which prevents Malaysians from travelling out of the country and visitors from entering.
The lockdown will start on 18 Mar and end on 31 Mar 2020.
Around 300K M’sians Coming In To Work Or Study
Around 300,000 people come into Singapore every morning for work or school.
When the news of the lockdown reaches Singapore, the Singapore government had two priorities:
And two, to figure out a way to help the Malaysians who cross over into Singapore every morning for work or for school.
It was estimated that more than 100,000 of these workers do not have any living arrangements in Singapore.
And if they were to be kept from crossing the Causeway to work?
Businesses who depend on these people are going to have trouble keeping the doors open.
Get Them To Stay In S’pore During The Duration Of The Lockdown
Minister Chan Chun Sing has suggested for businesses to provide accommodations for their workers who are affected by the lockdown.
He says that businesses can approach trade associations and economic agencies for help in housing their Malaysian workers.
In addition, the government is working to get hotel and dormitories owner to lower their rates for affected businesses.
Besides that, they are also trying to work out a solution for short-term housing for affected Malaysians.
Well, it seems like time is running a bit shorter than anyone would expect.
Business Owners Should Do Whatever They Can Think Of
As of right now, there are less than a day before the lockdown begins.
The government is asking businesses to evaluate carefully whether they need their employees to stay in Singapore.
They also ask for companies to encourage their workers to stay with relatives, friends or colleagues.
Those who aren’t able to do that can be housed in “hotels, dormitories, Housing Board rooms and whole flats and private residential properties”.
The government will also provide assistance whenever they can but take be warned: they will be prioritising based on essential services providers like “healthcare, security, cleaning, waste management, facilities management, logistics and transport.”
After all, their main priority is in making sure that services for Singaporeans “are not disrupted”.
I only hope my cai png stall tomorrow will still be open for business.
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