Manpower Minister Josephine Teo announced that Singapore will be giving S$50 per night for 14 nights to firms with workers affected by Malaysia’s lockdown measures.
Announcing on Tuesday (Mar 17), Ms Teo said many of these who travelled daily to and from Malaysia included work pass holders, Singaporean citizens and permanent residents.
In an announcement on Monday (Mar 16) night, Malaysian Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said that Malaysia will be in a nationwide lockdown from Wednesday (March 18) until March 31 due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
He added that the government has decided to implement a “restriction of movement order” under the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988 and the Police Act 1967.
Many of the workers travelling to and from Malaysia daily are often hired by companies that provide essential services, such as healthcare, security, cleaning, transportation, waste management, facilities management and logistics.
In her speech, Ms Teo said that there were three types of housing available to the affected workers – that “employers can encourage the affected workers to stay with their relatives, friends or colleagues in Singapore”, for the employers to consider hotel and dorms, or for rental, which real estate agents can help with.
Ms 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.
“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 said.