On Wednesday (18 March), in a thread on a Reddit platform titled, “Seriously touched with the warm gestures by Singaporeans to the Malaysian folk”, redditor u/pohpia thanked Singaporeans for their generosity during the current difficult times.
The Malaysian redditor writes, “Thank you Singaporeans for being kind to us in this time of need! May we work hand in hand (OK keep 1-meter away la) to survive and prosper together.”
Beginning Wednesday (18 March), Malaysia in a bid to contain the spread of COVID-19, has imposed restrictions to control the movement of Malaysian workers to Singapore for a period stretching from 18 March to 31 March.
Apart from barring all Malaysians from travelling abroad, the blanket border has also hit around 300,000 Malaysians who travel daily across the Woodlands Causeway and Tuas Second Link for work.
The control also requires Malaysians returning from overseas to undergo health inspection and be placed under a 14-day self-quarantine.
Therefore, knowing the hardship faced by these innocent workers, an anonymous redditor, who goes by the name u/3ply, commented that there have been a number of companies who scrambled to house Malaysian folks within a day. The companies ensured that they get across the Causeway before midnight, transporting them to their accommodations.
In addition to this, the redditor added that the Government came up with a list of dorms and hotels for these folks quickly and for the companies so that these workers could be accommodated.
According to Mrs Josephine Teo, Minister of Manpower, more than 10,000 Malaysians have found accommodations on Wednesday,
Another redditor called 69 Hokage said that initially, the user “hated Malaysian worker” who lived in Johor Bharu but worked in Singapore as they earn in Singapore Dollar but spend in Malaysian Ringgit. But looking at the current situation, the user expressed his “respect” for them.
Other Singaporean redditors were also quick to step up and show support towards Malaysians who are in need. Some redditors exchanged stories that highlight the difficulties faced in traveling to and from both countries. Hence, Singapore redditors shared their empathy on the platform.
Redditor estifashion wrote, “Everybody is making sacrifices during this difficult times to continue LIVING. Put on a smile and be patient with each other”.
Meanwhile, redditor roos_de_baas wrote, “We are siblings after all, blood is thicker than water above everything else. Hopefully, both countries will survive this tough period”.
Redditor Caipo 88 wrote, “Don’t thank us! This just shows how much we need you guys! All of us felt the effects of the lockdown immediately”.
At the same time, on a Malaysian reddit platform, under a thread post entitled, “Hang in there neighbours!! Let’s ride through this together,” Singapore redditor Aries Ascending expresses his appreciation towards the cooperation between both countries during times of crisis.
In a related move, on Wednesday, the public bus companies requested for their Malaysian bus captains to stay in Singapore for two weeks following Malaysia’s travel restrictions.
The moves by the public bus companies to transport and accommodate the bus captains moved Redditor, mylovevenus to say, “was so touched by this!”, while another redditor expressed her contentment by writing, “A bus full of bus drivers, so cute!”.
Separately, a SBS Transit spokesperson had told its bus captains that the company would provide necessary facilities and subsidise S$20 per day for those who are willing to stay.
“I know it’s a very difficult situation, nobody expected the Malaysian government to put up a very sudden change like this,” the SBS spokesperson told the bus captains.
He noted that the company would also impose a no-pay leave for those who are unwilling to stay in Singapore for the two weeks but it is not compulsory for the bus captains to take up the offer as they will retain their jobs after the restrictions are lifted.