Malaysian Workers Sleeping At MRT Stations Now Have Place To Stay Thanks To Singapore Government
Malaysia’s recent Movement Control Order sent many Malaysian workers scrambling to make last minute arrangements.
While many managed to find accommodation at the eleventh-hour, others weren’t so lucky. Shortly after the order began, Singaporeans began to spot people settling down for the night at Kranji and Woodlands MRT stations, many only with a thin piece of cardboard between them and the cold, hard ground.
Thankfully, it seems that help is already on the way, to ensure they get proper shelter for at least the next 14 days.
Malaysian workers get little sleep at MRT stations
By virtue of the fact that these are public areas, a worker told TODAY that they have to wait for the stations to close before resting their eyes — at 1am in the morning.
He added that,
“I’ll wake up at about 5am, around the time the station opens.”
All he had on him was a phone with no Internet access, a portable charger with limited charges, a small tub of hair wax and recently purchased mouthwash.
Many others found themselves in similar predicaments. The sudden announcement and crazy jams on the causeway gave no leeway for them to pack their belongings before the lockdown.
Singaporeans upset over workers’ plights
With images of the workers’ predicaments surfacing on Facebook, netizens had many things to say about the situation.
Many expressed their anger at the plight of these workers, demanding for action to be taken.
However, many also acknowledged the fact that it is difficult for employers to find accommodation at such short notice.
Some even offered solutions, with one commenter stating that she had a small warehouse to spare.
While her kindness is commendable, there are likely more appropriate accommodation options provided by notable organisations.
MSF task force saves the day
Earlier today (19 Mar), Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Ms Grace Fu shared that a team of public officers from the Ministry of Social and Family development (MSF) are arranging for temporary accommodation for these workers.
Swooping in with 12-hour shifts, this team worked to provide shelters at various ActiveSG sports centres.
They not only made such spaces available but prepared welfare packs as well, containing toiletries and sleeping bags.
On top of this, showering facilities are available for the workers to use before and after a long work day.
Workers simply had to register themselves before proceeding to collect the items and staying at the sports hall.
While this meant cancelling bookings from members of the public at the sports hall, many Singaporeans were extremely understanding. Comments on Ms. Fu’s post thanked the team for their efforts to alleviate the painful situation.
Ms Fu added that anyone who knows of Malaysian workers who need help should contact the Ministry of Manpower (MOM).
A hopeful uncertainty
While the Covid-19 situation and Malaysia’s lockdown place anxieties at an all time high, we are thankful for the various efforts to make life better for those who need it.
Aside from MSF, we would also like to acknowledge the kind individuals who try to help the workers who have trouble adapting to the sudden changes.
Indeed, in such a difficult time as this, even the smallest of gestures go a long way for all those affected.