Singapore— Rajinikanth, one of the superstars of the Indian film industry, sent a message of support to the foreign workers in Singapore, many of whom are under quarantine due to the coronavirus crisis.
The actor, born Shivaji Rao Gaekwad but who is popularly known as Rajinikanth or Rajni, is hailed by many as Superstar or Thalaivaa, which means leader.
He posted a 52-second Tamil New Year message on Twitter, urging Tamils to follow the lockdown rules in their countries where they work, calling this “the biggest gift you can gift to your family in this new year.”
The film star added, “Your family members who are living apart from you are thinking and worrying about you all the time.”
He also sought to reassure them, telling them in Tamil, “Please be well, don’t worry. This too shall pass.”
— Rajinikanth (@rajinikanth) April 14, 2020
His video on Twitter has been liked and shared thousands of times, and was also posted on Facebook page RBSI – Rajini Biggest Superstar Of India – RBSI, where it has also been widely shared.
Rajinikanth’s message appeared to have been made at the request of S Iswaran, the Minister for Communications and Information of Singapore.
Mr Iswaran, who also posted the Indian superstar’s video message, expressed his gratitude to the actor.
“Many thanks to Mr Rajinikanth, a renowned Tamil film star, for agreeing to my request to do this COVID-19 message. It is a sincere message delivered in his unique style.
Happy Tamil New Year to all!”
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, this year’s Tamil New Year celebrations were much quieter than usual. Additionally, a significant number of Singapore’s foreign workers are now under quarantine, as seven out of 10 new Covid-19 cases have been linked to the dormitories of foreign workers. Several of these dormitories have been gazetted as isolation facilities in an effort to curb the spread of the outbreak.
Rajinikanth, who is now 69 years old, is a much-loved and even idolized figure among many in his country, and is considered to be the most popular actor in South India. The multi-awarded actor enjoys popularity in other countries across Asia as well.
The Singaporean Government marked the Tamil and Bengali New Year by having the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) distribute around 123,000 traditional Indian sweets to the migrant workers.
Manpower Minister Josephine Teo also posted a New Year message, with subtitles in Bengali and Tamil, thanking the foreign workers for their hard work, as well as their cooperation with the stringent measures to prevent the spread of disease during this time, including putting some under strict quarantine.
A SPECIAL NOTE TO OUR FOREIGN WORKERSHello everyone. Today is the start of a New Year for you. But it is difficult to celebrate without family and friends. The COVID-19 outbreak has affected all of us. But I know it is especially hard for you. I want to thank you for all your hard work in Singapore and your cooperation during this period.Please know that the Singapore government is doing everything we can to take care of you.We want you to reunite with your families and friends in good time. We also need your help to be patient. We know it is hard to stay indoors all the time. But it is absolutely important to keep you and your friends safe and healthy. Many people are working round the clock to arrange meals for you or improve cleanliness where you live. We are also making sure you will get medical attention when you need it.I know that some of you are worried about salaries – will you still get paid? How do you send your money back home to your families? MOM will make sure that your employers continue to pay you. Most of you are already paid electronically. If you are not yet paid electronically, we will work with your employers to change. This way, even if you don’t go to work, your employers can pay you. Until your employers make the switch, MOM will arrange for them to pay your outstanding salaries in cash, even if you are staying in the dormitories. We will also find ways to help you remit the money home.On behalf of all Singaporeans, I wish you good health in the new year. Stay safe for your families, stay safe for your friends, stay safe for yourself. புத்தாண்டு வாழ்த்துக்கள்– Jo TeoWith Singapore Ministry of Manpower
Posted by Josephine Teo on Monday, April 13, 2020
Ms Teo assured the workers that the Government is doing its utmost to take care of them, and desired for the workers to be with their friends and family again “in good time.”
She appealed for the workers to be patient, acknowledging the challenges of being indoors at all times, but she emphasized that fact that this is absolutely vital in order to stay healthy.
Moreover, she assured the workers that MOM was ensuring they would continue to be paid their salaries by their employers, and that the Ministry would find ways to make sure they receive their pay and even remit money home to their families. —/TISG
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