Singapore—In a press conference on Tuesday (Mar 17) the day after Malaysia announced it was launching a two-week lockdown in a bid to stop the spread of the coronavirus, Manpower Minister Josephine Two announced that businesses that would be affected by Malaysia’s restrictions would be getting S$50 for every worker nightly as an allowance to cover the additional funds they’ve had to spend.
For some Singaporean netizens, however, this was proof of the country’s over-reliance on foreign workers.
Malaysia imposed a temporary ban for citizens coming home as well as visitors entering the country, effective Wednesday (Mar 18).
Since Singapore is where many Malaysians work daily, housing employees from Malaysia has become a challenge.
Ms Teo announced, “MOM has been working with tripartite partners to support the affected companies. If they need their workers to stay in Singapore, the way to help them is to find suitable accommodation.
For every affected worker, we will provide the firms with the support of S$50 a night for 14 nights. Whatever the arrangements, we appreciate that businesses had to respond very quickly and incurred some additional costs as a result,” the Manpower Minister added, saying she was “confident” that the workers affected by the newly-announced restriction would be able to find housing, and called the allowance “a temporary relief measure”.
Some netizens responded to a article from Channel NewsAsia (CNA) that reported this new measure by taking issue with it.
Posting in the Facebook page COMPLAINT SINGAPORE, netizen Cheo Vincent wrote, “Proven that S’pore over reliant on foreign workers…to a stage that we need to pay 50 bucks per head per day till their travel ban end
We don’t see the gov being generous to our old, disable etc… 50 per head per day.. Tax payers’ monies ?”
Some Singaporeans seemed to agree with Mr Cheo.
Some were unhappy that taxpayer’s money was being used to subsidise foreigners.
Others felt that Singaporeans’ needs were not being put first.
Some netizens did the math for the allotted allowance, since there are said to be 300,000 Malaysian workers in the country.
Another netizen wondered what would happen if Malaysia decides to extend its ban
Others argued that Malaysians were doing valuable, if lowly-paid, jobs that Singaporeans do not want to do
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