MOM Will Pay S$50 Per Worker Per Night For 2 Weeks So Companies Can Cope With Malaysia Lockdown

The clock is ticking. There’s less than 4 hours left for some 400,000 Malaysians working in Singapore, to choose whether they should stay or fly home.

But even if they do choose to stay, such last-minute arrangements would sure incur extra pennies alongside the major hassle.

For employers and workers who both suffer this conundrum, support is on its way. Singapore will be giving an allowance of S$50 per worker for 14 nights to companies affected by Malaysia’s lockdown, reports Channel NewsAsia (CNA).

Manpower Minister Josephine Teo announced this in a press conference on Tuesday (17 Mar) — a day after Malaysia has decided to bar its citizens from leaving the country till 31 Mar to contain the Covid-19 outbreak.

MOM will pay S$50 allowance to cover extra costs

At the press conference, Mrs Teo said many of the affected workers include work pass holders, Singaporean citizens and permanent residents who commute daily across the Causeway.

Even for companies that employ Singaporeans, she said the government wants to ensure that their businesses are not severely disrupted.

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Mrs Teo reassured that the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has been working with partners to support these companies. And the only way to help them is to find suitable accommodation.

List of housing options available

Mrs Teo listed down a few housing options available to help affected workers cope with the situation.

First, employers can encouraged affected workers to stay with relatives, friends or colleagues in Singapore who may be able and willing to accommodate them for a short period.

She noted that this may probably be the most comfortable one for them.

If not feasible, then employers can consider hotels and dormitories. “We have a list, and we will link them up,” said Mrs Teo.

There are also rental options, and real estate agents have been enlisted by the government to help.

S$50 allowance as financial support to affected companies

In view of these last-minute arrangements, Mrs Teo announced that they have worked out financial support.

For every affected worker, we will provide the firms with the support of S$50 a night for 14 nights.

More details on how to apply will be announced soon.

Abrupt circumstances call for fast, helpful decisions

Kudos to the Singapore government for coming up with a timely support plan to ensure that affected companies and workers get the aid they need.

It’s understandably shocking and frustrating for daily Causeway travellers, having to choose between taking unpaid leave for 14 days, or pack up and stay on our little island.

Hopefully, they’ll be able to find suitable accommodation, and that employers will do their part to help with the arrangement.

Are you among the group of Malaysians and Singaporeans affected by the lockdown? Let us know in the comments below.

Also read:

M’sia On Lockdown From 18-31 Mar, No Citizen Leaves & No Foreigner In

Featured image adapted from AFP.