A video circulating showing foreign workers separated by partitions at the back of a lorry drew widespread criticism from netizens for being very inhumane and unsafe.
The video showed a group of foreign workers getting onto a Shin Kai Construction lorry. As they got on the back of the lorry, the men were required to manually fold the partition in order to distance themselves from other workers.
The video also showed the men alighting by pushing the partition open.
The minute-long video drew 1,700 reactions and over 400 comments in a day, with most netizens saying that it was a very inhumane way of transporting workers.
Some commented that the workers seemed like animals in cages, and questioned why minibuses or vans could not be hired for proper social distancing to transport workers.
According to a CNA report, The video was part of a demonstration video and proposal sent by the construction firm to MOM on Tuesday for consultation.
Responding to CNA’s queries, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) and Land Transport Authority (LTA) said that the proposed set-up of partitions in a lorry that was seen in a widely circulated video is not “secure” and could “endanger” its occupants as well as other road users.
In a Facebook post on Thursday (May 14), the construction firm apologized. They added, “We are surprised that we have received interest in the video and comments from online netizens. While some comments are encouraging, we regret to hear that the video might have portrayed the way we treated our workers as inhumane and without care. We wished to issue an apology on this”.
The firm explained that it “was trying to find solutions in the midst of this crisis and the partitioned lorry arrangement in the demo video was one of them”.
The lorry capacity to ferry workers was greatly reduced from 23 pax to 6 pax due to safety distancing measures, it added.
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