In 1979, we had the Speak Mandarin Campaign, which aimed to inculcate a sense of unity across the local Chinese population in the form of a common language: Channel 8.
In 1987, it was made mandatory to attend English-medium schools, in recognition of the importance that English signified worldwide.
And in 2020, we have the fan-named Social Distancing Campaign, a measure that’s implemented not as a form of enforceable language policy…
But a way to circumvent the deadly crisis that we’re facing right now: Covid-19.
Granted, the inaptly named Social Distancing Campaign might be far and away from the notion of a Language Policy Campaign or the compulsory aspect of attending English-medium schools, but it has one thing in tandem with the other two:
It’s implemented in a time when the state’s still unsure of what to do, and it’s the only viable option that sounds right to go about.
Though whether the social distancing campaign was genuinely complied with… is a notion just as ambiguous as its 1979 ‘predecessor’.
MOM Spot Checked About 100 Companies & Found Many Are Still Not Enforcing Safe Distance Measures
It might’ve been a mere precautionary tale just a few weeks back, but times have changed; Covid-19 has worsened in stature…
And the law has changed to accommodate it.
Lest you’re unaware what I’m rambling about, I’m talking about the safe distancing measures implemented three days ago (24 March 2020). You can read more about it here.
Alas, however, employers in Singapore have not exactly kept up with the times. According to the Facebook page for Singapore Ministry of Manpower, officers visited more than 100 companies in the past 4 days, only to realise that…
Many are still not enforcing safe distance measures.
As such, they’ve had to issue 34 stop-work orders and 36 remedial orders to the ‘crowd’, and companies were required to rectify the situation with immediate effect.
“Where we can, we are sharing good practices that other companies have done to support employers in protecting their employees and loved ones, and the public at large,” shared Raymond Koh, Inspector at MOM’s Occupational Safety and Health Division.
“Beyond enforcement, it is important to help employers understand the gaps that must be rectified to limit the spread of COVID-19 at work premises.”
Well, you know what they say;
Sustainability might be vital, but health’s the priority.
No healthy workers = no output = company dies.
I hope my boss is reading this.
Lest you’re not keeping up with the News-darshians, here’s a little insight:
There was an update on safe distancing measures in Singapore today (27March 2020).
Well, to be precise, it’s yesterday, 11:59pm.
Apart from the pre-existing set of conditions, employers must now ensure the following parameters:
- Employees should ideally be telecommuting from home, wherever possible. Should that be impossible…
- Physical interactions should be kept to a bare minimum
- Clear physical spacing of at least 1m apart should be enforced at work premises
- Working hours should be staggered
- All events should be deferred, or cancelled
- Shifts should be implemented; team arrangements should be split
Social Distancing Measures
On 24 March 2020, it was announced that all large events, as well as bars, cinemas and other entertainment options will be unavailable temporarily.
Those who intentionally fluctuate the newly-imposed social distancing rule might find themselves at risk of a fine, or even jail time.
In light of the current circumstances, Singapore seems to be pulling out all the plugs in its bid to halt the spread of Covid-19 in the country. And as cliche as it might sound…
We can only trust in the government for now.
So practice good social distancing habits, people. And lay off the gatherings for now.
It’s now just an individual fight now; it’s a whole guild fight…
With the entire world… against one nasty virus.