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Foreigner allegedly asks whether the Govt is considerate of the mental health of expats

Not allowing expats to meet friends for another month shows how inconsiderate the Government is to the expat community's "basic human need for contact"




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A Facebook user who is allegedly a foreigner living in Singapore has opined that the Government’s circuit breaker lifting measures are partial towards Singapore citizens and unfair towards expats.

Singapore has been under a lock-down style circuit breaker for the past two months, since the beginning of April. As the nation prepares for the lockdown to be lifted on 2 June, the Government announced that some restrictions will remain and that the re-opening of Singapore will take place in three phases to curb a second wave of COVID-19 infections.

In the first phase, which will last at least one month, households will be able to receive two visitors a day as long as they are children or grandchildren from the same family. While this measure has brought some respite to Singapore residents, a certain segment of the population are apparently unimpressed.

A screenshot of a Facebook post, presumably written by an expat who lives in Singapore, is circulating on social media and messaging platforms. The person who wrote the post says that the circuit breaker lifting measures are unfair to the “massive expat population” in Singapore since many of them do not have family here.

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Asserting that not allowing expats to meet friends for another month shows how inconsiderate the Government is to the expat community’s “basic human need for contact,” the netizen added that that the virus prevention measures have adversely affected the mental health of expats in Singapore.

Tagging Singapore’s Ministry of Health, the netizen allegedly wrote:

“Dear Singapore Government, the planned phased relaxing of CB sounds great. But when you say households can have two visitors, you clearly mean Singaporean households with families.
“Here’s the thing. What about the rest of us? The massive expat population that makes up the rest of your country? Who DON’T have families here. From [sic] whom, our friends are our families.
“If you’re allowing households to meet, that should be a rule that applies to EVERYONE. Simply by being related doesn’t make you exempt from or immune to Covid.
“What about those of us who live alone, who haven’t seen/met anyone they actually know FOR TWO MONTHS. Are you saying we have to go without any actual human contact or interaction for ANOTHER WHOLE MONTH???
“And no, this isn’t a first world whinge. This is a basic human need for contact that is especially affecting those who live alone.
“Have you in all your wisdom spared a thought of how this adversely affects us? And our mental health?”

Earlier this month, multiple photos showing crowds of expats gathering freely in Robertson Quay went viral online. Besides breaking safe distancing measures, many expats were spotted without masks or with their masks pulled below their chin when it is mandatory to wear masks in public.

As public outrage ensued, the Government assured Singaporeans that the law will be enforced against all who are found breaching safe distancing measures. Minister Masagos Zulkifli added that those who violated the lockdown rules have been traced and are currently under police investigation.

Despite this update, Singaporeans urged the Government to deport the expats who blatantly broke the law, just like it deported the migrant workers who flouted circuit breaker measures.

Earlier in April, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) revoked the work passes of 24 migrant workers, deported them and permanently banned them from working in Singapore after they were spotted breaching the Government’s mandatory safe distancing rules. The workers were caught eating, drinking and gathering in groups near Tuas View Square.

MOM said then that it deported the migrant workers to “send a clear signal of the seriousness of the offence.”

Netizens asked the Government whether it will deport the expats who breached circuit breaker rules to send a similar strong message. Others continued to ask why there seems to be fewer safe distancing ambassadors and patrols downtown compared to the HDB heartlands:

Singaporeans urge the Govt to deport law breaking expats at Robertson Quay

Questions of double standards arise as expat crowds gather freely at Robertson Quay

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