Now, before anything, let’s be clear: we’re, of course, not blaming anyone for this.
Actually, here’s a correction: we do blame something. Its name is COVID-19, and if I had a choice, I would kick its balls and burn it. But that’s for another article.
Yesterday night, as the Malaysia lockdown starts from 12am today (18 March), Malaysian workers who commute to Singapore daily have to make a choice fast: stay in Singapore for 14 days or go through 14 days without pay, which will also disrupt the workforce in Singapore.
Given the extremely tight deadline, it’s reasonable that many would have to make the decision at the very last minute, and it’s led to this.
Last Hour of M’sian Workers Coming to S’pore Shows Massive Crowd
As the looming new travel restrictions kick in, there have been massive jams on the roads to Singapore from Malaysia.
People have to brave the long queues at the checkpoints and the jams just to get to Singapore—one minute late and you’d have to eat grass for 14 days.
This leads a scenario like this:
But that’s okay, isn’t it? Everyone’s in their cars.
However, these cars could possibly be Singaporeans returning to our tiny island instead, because Malaysians who work in Singapore couldn’t have driven in with their cars.
And with so many of them leaving their families just to put food on the table, many had to walk on the Causeway.
Yes, you can get to Singapore by foot if the authorities open the gates.
And open they did.
Images of Malaysians walking to Woodlands made its rounds yesterday.
The 1-km walk might be tolerable since there’s no sun shining on them mercilessly, but it’s crowd that’ll make officials in MOH go, “OMG, OMG, OMG,”
See, take a look:
According to someone who managed to beat the clock and was one of the last few to cross the causeway, the customs officers told him to be “faster, please cross, it is going to close, you have one minute.”
That was at 11:58pm yesterday.
He then took a one-hour walk on the causeway, and I can almost hear his relief while I slept soundly at night as my family puts food on my table.
As of now, the Causeway, if it had emotions, must be feeling extremely lonely as this could possibly be the first time since it was built that it is so void of vehicles, especially now when it’s the peak hour:
In the meantime, let this be a lesson to us all: that nasty bug might have tried to disrupted our lives, but we humans can adapt if need to.
Singapore to Give $50 a Night Per Work to Firms That Have Such Malaysia Workers
Lest you’re not aware, there are about 300K people who cross the border every day, and most of them work or study here in Singapore.
A sudden loss of these workers would have serious repercussions on society, so the authorities have provided $50 a night per worker to firms that have such workers.
As of yesterday, over 10,000 of the workers have found accommodation.
The authorities are still implementing solutions to ensure that these workers have a place to stay for the next 14 days.
That is…if it really is 14 days.