Wednesday, July 6

Fate of Malaysian workers in Singapore still unclear


File photo for illustration purposes 

JOHOR BAHRU: The fate of more than 200,000 Malaysians who commute daily to Singapore for work is uncertain following the government’s move to extend the Movement Control Order (MCO) until April 14.

Although some employers in Singapore are taking the initiative to allow workers to work from home, many Malaysians feel that they may be out of work due to the strict conditions imposed by both countries in an effort to contain the spread of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Most of them hope that both countries will be able to hold further talks to assist Malaysians who are ‘stranded’ in Singapore since the implementation of MCO on March 18.

They also hope that they can be allowed to commute as usual.

“Honestly, I feel sad because I have been here for a long time but I have to be strong. I just focus on continuing my work but at the same time, I still hope that everything will go back the way it was.

“If possible I hope the Singapore and Malaysia governments can discuss and help us return to our homes (in Johor Bahru) as soon as possible,” said Teh Zu Wei, 25, when contacted by Bernama.

Teh opted to stay in Singapore during the MCO because she had just obtained a job as a nurse in the republic.

For Muhammad Hafiz Rusdi, 32, he hoped that both governments could discuss the matter comprehensively, and not just on measures to allow Malaysians to commute to Singapore and vice versa.

“If it (to commute) is not approved by Singapore, we hope the Malaysian government can provide assistance in the form of accommodation and food (in Singapore).

“We really want to go back to Malaysia to our families, but what will happen to us if we go home? Who will help us when we are without a job?” asked the warehouse assistant who had been working in the republic for two years.U

Muhammad Hafiz said his fate was still uncertain.

“My employer has provided me a place to stay and a little extra money. However, after the Malaysian government extended the MCO for another 14 days, the company has yet to make a decision on whether the Malaysian workers will continue to be given a place to stay,” he said.

Another nurse Mohd Hazrien Zainal, 28, said he was fortunate to be given a place to stay by his employer.

“The company provides hotel room and gives S$20 per day for food. Every day, I would make video call to my children and my wife because I miss them,” he said. – Bernama