Following the movement control order imposed by the Malaysian government which will take effect for two weeks starting tomorrow (18 Mar), Malaysians working in Singapore who do not return to the Republic by tonight will be given unpaid leave for the same duration, TOC learnt from various industries in Singapore.
While some Singaporean employers are providing temporary accommodation arrangements for their Malaysian employees such as hotel and hostel services, other firms have asked their Malaysian employees to stay with their relatives or friends for the time being.
One Malaysian factory worker told The Star Online that he may have to stay at the factory’s premises should they fail to find temporary accommodation for him.
He has decided to return to Singapore as he is the sole breadwinner of his family with three school-going children.
However, TOC understands that some of the workers have chosen not to return to Singapore and have instead opted to take a no-pay leave, as they have children and family members to attend to.
Around 300,000 people commute between the two countries across the Causeway daily.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in a Facebook post today said that Malaysians who live in Johor but are employed in Singapore will be required to follow the Movement Control Order and refrain from travelling outside of the country — including to Singapore.
Mr Lee reassured that the Government is working on making arrangements with Singaporean companies to help the affected Malaysian workers stay in Singapore temporarily.
This particular arrangement will only be carried out if the Malaysian workers are willing to do so, he said.
Mr Lee added that the governments of both countries have already appointed Senior Ministers on both sides — namely Teo Chee Hean and Ismail Sabri — to coordinate responses to the COVID-19 outbreak, “particularly on measures where we can work together, or where the actions of one country will affect the other”.
“They are already in touch, but it may take a couple of days for arrangements to be worked out and to settle down,” he added.