S'pore govt working to provide accommodation options for M'sian workers in S'pore during M'sia lockdown

Economic agencies working with companies, dormitory operators and hotels to provide accommodation options for such workers.

Guan Zhen Tan| March 17, 09:05 AM

Minister of Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing assured local employers that Singapore's economic agencies are working to provide temporary accommodation in Singapore for their Malaysian workers who may wish to stay here during Malaysia's lockdown.

In a doorstop interview with media on Tuesday (Mar. 17) morning, Chan also spoke about how Singapore has planned for the scenario of disruptions to food supplies from Malaysia.

Working with economic agencies to provide accommodation options

Malaysia had previously announced lockdown measures a day earlier, on Mar. 16, 2020.

The lockdown will take place on Wednesday (Mar. 18) and last until the end of the month (Mar. 31).

As part of the measures, all tourists and foreign visitors coming into Malaysia are barred from entry, and Malaysians are also barred from travelling abroad.

Government working with stakeholders to explore temporary accommodation for Malaysian workers

According to National Development Minister Lawrence Wong in a press conference on Sunday (Mar. 15), he noted that 300,000 people move across the land crossings at the Woodlands and Tuas checkpoints alone on a daily basis.

According to Chan, many employers enquired if they can provide temporary accommodation in Singapore for Malaysian workers, who are affected by the measures.

Chan responded that the economic agencies are working with the companies, dormitory operators and hotels to provide accommodation options for such workers.

He also mentioned that companies who need help for their workers' accommodation can contact and work with said economic agencies and their own trade associations.

"Let me address the issue of the Malaysian workers. Since last night, many employers are enquiring if they can provide temporary accommodation in Singapore for their Malaysian workers who may wish to stay here during this period. Our economic agencies are working with the companies, dormitory operators and hotels to provide options for the companies so companies who need help for their workers' accommodation can contact our economic agencies and also work with their trade associations."

Chan had previously mentioned in a Facebook post last night (Mar. 16) that businesses that employ Malaysian workers who commute between Singapore and Malaysia daily may have to activate their Business Continuity Plans, but assured that economic agencies are ready to assist if need be.

Chan assured Singaporeans that he was aware that many of these new restrictions and announcements may be quite overwhelming for many people.

Hence, he asked for their "continued trust and support as we work hard with all stakeholders to ensure that we get through these short-term challenges together".

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Top photo by Zheng Zhangxin