Speaking in a Tamil video message to migrant workers on Tuesday (5 May), Communications and Information Minister S Iswaran assured that the Government has taken steps to enhance the quality of food and facilities in the dormitories, upon acknowledging that the COVID-19 circuit breaker measures have “caused some inconvenience” to the migrant workers community.
He added that these initiatives will enable migrant workers to communicate with their families, obtain necessary information from the Internet, and watch their favourite Tamil movies online.
Mr Iswaran reiterated that the Government remains committed to ensuring their health and well-being, both physical and mental.
“We will provide you with the necessary, quality medical care as we do to Singaporeans,” he remarked. “This is our promised.”
Mr Iswaran went on to say that he recently approached two famous Indian actors, Mr Rajinikanth and Mr Kamal Hassan, as well as renowned Indian composer A. R. Rahman and former Indian international cricketer Sanchin Tendulkar; all of whom extended their good wishes and encouragement to the migrant workers in Singapore.
Mr Iswaran also affirmed the migrant workers for playing an “important role” in Singapore’s progress.
“Finally, all of us should cooperate if we want to manage this COVID-19 challenge successfully. If we do that, we can definitely overcome this challenge and we can create a good future together. Thus, your cooperation is very important. We will work together and succeed,” he concluded.
Netizens criticised the Government for its inconsistency and incompetency
Following Channel News Asia’s news broadcast coverage of Mr Iswaran’s message on YouTube, netizens were not satisfied at the current situation of migrant workers in Singapore as they called out the Government for being neither consistent nor competent.
Under the comments section of the YouTube video, a large number of them were quick to slam the Government for being too slow in their efforts to curb the spread of the virus – not to mention calling the wrong shots regarding the issue of wearing a mask in public.
A couple of netizens penned their thoughts on the poor standard of living at the dormitories, suggesting that the workers “need to be spaced out more”, while cleanliness and hygiene ought to be better maintained by the higher-ups as cleanliness issues in the dormitories “are not new”.
Meanwhile, a few of them cast aspersions on the Government’s efforts, arguing that the nation is “always on the back foot” because the common trait of the 4G Government is being reactive rather than proactive or pre-emptive.
However, a handful of netizens also gave voice to their dissent on the migrant workers making headlines, asserting that Singaporeans should be prioritised more.
However, one netizen, Joel Anthony, stood up in support of the migrant workers, noting that they are the unsung heroes for carrying out the duties that most Singaporeans would not dare to perform. He challenged those who condemned the migrant workers to take up their mantle.
He added that without the migrant workers, “our contry would go into a national emergency and our very own sons in the army would have to take off the rubbish and sewage and do all the essential services”.