Since Malaysia’s Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin announced the extension of Malaysia’s Movement Control Order (MCO) from 31 March to 14 April, people from both Singapore and Malaysia were concerned about the Malaysian workers employed in Singapore. The Ministry of Manpower released a press statement yesterday (25 March) right after the announcement of MCO extension to address this particular issue.

When the MCO was first introduced in Malaysia on 18 March, the Singaporean government decided to help provide temporary accommodation for Malaysian workers who are employed in Singapore. According to the Ministry of Manpower’s statement, the temporary approach was to help defray the additional costs of housing affected workers.

However, the Ministry has decided to cease the temporary housing support beyond 31 March, as reported on the official statement released yesterday. Employers are required to decide to house their affected workers as well as share the additional costs with their workers, due to the uncertainty over border controls.

“MOM will not be extending the temporary housing support beyond 31 March 2020. For their own long-term sustainability and business continuity reasons, employers will need to decide on how best to house their affected workers in Singapore, and the sharing of additional costs with their workers.”

The Ministry explained that they had been helping in facilitating accommodation for the affected workers, along with the Ministry of National Development, Housing Development Board, Ministry of Trade and Industry and Singaporean Tourism Board for the past week.

“As a whole, the Government has helped around 2,000 firms with their requests for accommodation for over 10,000 affected workers. Other firms have made their own arrangements to accommodate affected workers.”

Since then, the Ministry of Manpower had been following up with the employers to ensure that their affected workers are housed in temporary housing that is safe and appropriate. Following the extension of MCO, the Ministry will embark onto the next phase, which is to transfer these workers into more sustainable housing options in Singapore.

“MOM will now embark on the next phase, which is to work with employers to facilitate the transfer of their affected workers into more sustainable housing options in Singapore,” stated in the official press release.

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