Now before anything, do note that this is to firms and not direct to each individual.
There’s just one thing that you can’t deny about this whole COVID-19 issue: you need money to fight a disaster.
Other than putting lots of resources to contain the virus so far, Singapore’s now taking it one step further to ensure that our favourite caipng brothers and our friendly bus captains won’t be stuck in Malaysia when the lockdown begins tomorrow.
S’pore Giving $50 a Night to Firms for Each Malaysian Who Commute to S’pore to Work Daily
In a move that’s kind of expected, Manpower Minister Josephine Teo has offered a solution to Malaysians who commute from JB to Singapore daily to work.
After all, we’re talking about close to 300K workers—without them, I’m pretty sure the crisis would be worse than holes in supermarket shelves.
For a start, since Malaysia isn’t going to give travel exception to this group of workers, the solution is to let them stay in Singapore for 14 days instead going back to Malaysia daily.
In other words, take the “commute” out of the equation.
That means they’d need accommodation, but that’s going to be expensive.
And with the lockdown happening tomorrow, the authorities are going to use money to solve the problem.
Because a wise old man once said, “Money solves every problem.”
But how, you ask.
For a start, anyone who’s affected should opt for these options:
Stay With Friends or Relatives
I’m 101% sure you’ve a Malaysia friend or even a Malaysia relative. Given the close ties between these two countries, Ms Teo suggests them to stay over in their friends’ or relatives’ houses for 14 days.
It’s also “most comfortable” since they’re close to each other.
But if that doesn’t work?
Stay in a Hotel or a Dormitory
Well, this is pretty clear-cut: with hotel prices slashed to the minimum, it’s perhaps a good option for Malaysians to take this opportunity to have a stayca right here in Singapore.
The authorities have prepared a list that might be useful for firms.
This is rather unclear since short-term rental isn’t legal, but the authorities are working with property agents to work things out.
You can watch the press conference about this topic here:
But of course, the issue is cost.
Which is why the authorities are stepping in.
Ms Teo said, “For every affected worker, we will provide the firms with the support of S$50 a night for 14 nights.”
I know you’re taken out your calculator, but don’t; I’ve done the maths for you.
Each worker would “cost” $700, and if we have about 300,000 people, that would be a whopping SGD$210 million. Of course not everyone would be affected, but it’s still a good agakation.
That’s a lot of money, but hey: isn’t that better than your bus not arriving at all?
More details on how firms can apply for the funds will be provided later.
But of course, decisions must be made fast.
Ms Teo added, “Whatever the arrangements, we appreciate that businesses had to respond very quickly and incurred some additional costs as a result… I’m confident that by the end of the day, any one of the affected workers that need to stay in Singapore will be able to find suitable accommodation.”
One thing you can’t deny is that when it comes to getting funds from AH Gong, the authorities dispense the funds fastly. Just ask any HR manager who has claimed any NSman’s makeup pay and you’d understand.
In the meantime, this might kill two birds with one stone: hotels are finally getting some businesses and our workforce isn’t compromised too much.
Actually, three birds lah: more people are going to vote for Ah Gong.
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