Singapore will be giving S$50 per night for 14 nights to firms with workers affected by the lockdown in Malaysia, per each worker, announced Manpower Minister Josephine Teo.
The lockdown, announced by Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, is due to be implemented on Wednesday, March 18.
Teo: Workers hired by companies that provide essential services
Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday, March 17, Teo said many of these workers include work pass holders, Singaporean citizens and permanent residents who commute daily from Malaysia to Singapore.
They are hired by companies that provide essential services, such as healthcare, security, cleaning, transportation, waste management, facilities management and logistics, she said.
Teo added: "Even for companies, which do not provide essential services, they employ Singaporeans, so we want to ensure that their businesses are not severely disrupted."
She then explained this is why the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has been working with its tripartite partners to support the affected companies.
Should they need their workers to stay in Singapore, the government will help the workers find suitable accommodation, she added.
Three housing options
Teo then dived into details of the housing options available.
She said of the first option, which was "probably the most comfortable", that "employers can encourage the affected workers to stay with their relatives, friends or colleagues in Singapore".
The second option, should the first not be feasible, is for the employers to consider hotel and dorms.
Teo added that the ministry has a list and will link the employers up with the accommodations .
The third option is rental, which real estate agents can help with.
Teo added that whatever the arrangement, the government appreciates that businesses have had to respond very quickly and incurred some additional costs as a result.
More details to come
This is why the government will be providing them with financial support in the form of S$50 for every affected worker a night for 14 nights.
Teo added that more details on how to apply for this grant will be announced soon.
In response to a question from the media, Minister for Health Gan Kim Yong also added that the government has enough accommodations for healthcare workers from Malaysia.
Previously on the same day, Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing said that Singapore's economic agencies are working to ensure suitable accommodation for workers affected by the Malaysian lockdown.
Top image adapted via Rachel Ng and Faisal Ishak on Twitter