On Monday night (16 March), Malaysia’s Prime Minister made a shocking announcement; the country would be on lockdown from 18 March until the end of the month to try and control the spread of Covid-19.
Or even longer if people in Malaysians still anyhowly move around.
As a result, Singaporeans all over the country started panic buying groceries and toilet paper, because, well, that’s just what we do.
You can watch this video on why people tend to buy toilet paper amongst other things:
(Check out our YouTube channel for more informative and entertaining videos!)
But then we learnt that food supplies would still be brought into the country, and the nation breathed a huge sigh of relief.
Everything will be fine and dandy, right? Well, tell that to the 300,000 Malaysians who commute from JB to Singapore daily to work.
You see, the Malaysian government isn’t making an exception for this group of workers. Yet.
So, these workers have to stay in Singapore for two weeks instead of going back to their country every day.
But there’s just one problem with this – where the hell do they stay?
Some M’sian Workers Sleeping Outside MRT Station As Their Employers Haven’t Found Accommodation for Them
A couple of days ago, Manpower Minister Josephine Teo announced that the Singapore government will give affected firms $50 for each Malaysian worker in their company who commutes to Singapore daily to help them find accommodation.
However, just two days later, a few of these workers were found sleeping behind the gates of Kranji MRT Station.
Some of them opened up umbrellas to partially shield themselves as they laid down, while those who were already sleeping used their bags, jackets, and caps as makeshift pillows, reported TODAYonline.
This is horrible.
One man, Mr Armel, only had with him his wallet, a phone with no internet access, a portable charger, a small tub of hair wax, and mouthwash that he just bought.
He did not have time to pack his belongings before the lockdown.
No internet? Can some kind soul provide mobile hotspot for them? No place to sleep is bad, but no internet is hell.
Random Checks by Policemen
According to TODAYonline, a pair of officers from the Public Transport Security Command (TransCom) — a unit under the Singapore Police Force — woke the workers up one by one to ask for details at 10.30 pm.
Four policemen were also seen patrolling the area and doing random checks later at 1am.
If you’re feeling bad for them, you’re not the only one.
Two groups of Singaporeans were seen handing out sleeping bags, water, and snacks.
One group, led by political activist Gilbert Goh, spoke to the workers and offered options for lodgings while handing out bottles of water.
But why haven’t the employers of these workers found accommodation for them yet?
Not Promised Accommodation
As of Tuesday, about 10,000 Malaysian workers who have chosen to stay in Singapore to work have been matched to temporary accommodations here, according to Minister Teo.
And many hostels and budget hotels are fully booked till the end of the month, after getting calls from Malaysian workers or their Singapore employers seeking temporary accommodation.
Sadly though, these workers who were found sleeping outside Kranji MRT station were not promised accommodation by their employers.
They work in the cleaning and manufacturing industries, and said that they have no choice but to sleep outdoors.
But for many of them, this inconvenience isn’t a big deal because they’re thankful to still have their jobs.
So, the next time we lose our minds and rush to the supermarket to stockpile groceries and toilet paper without a shred of consideration for our fellow Singaporeans, let’s think of these poor workers who don’t mind sleeping on a cold, hard floor in public because they’re simply happy to have a job.
- NUS Study Shows Parents Who Has More Self-Control & Less Financial Stress Have Children Who are Stronger Mentally
- Wendy’s Cancelled Surge Pricing Plan; Here’s What It Is & Why It Could Really Happen
- Guide to How to Change from Your SimplyGo Cards to the Old EZ-Link Cards
- Everyone is Talking About CPF Special Account. Here’s What It Is.
- Lawrence Wong: No Further Need for GST Hike Up to 2030
- Singapore’s Total Fertility Rate Hits Record Low, Falling Below 1 for the First Time
- Why Hotel Rates in Johor is Set to Increase from 1 March 2024