Mummy Yummy Singapore restaurant has seen a steady increase of requests for its meals assistance programme, most commonly from people who are unemployed and unable to find a suitable job, and from those who are unable to work due to sudden illness.
Singapore has not been spared the economic impact of the current global COVID-19 pandemic that has led to massive job losses and business closures that was brought about by necessary strict order and safe distancing measures.
In a labour market report released in September 2020 by the Ministry of Manpower, it was revealed retrenchment more than doubled to 8,130 in the second quarter of 2020 from the first quarter figure of 3,220. This brought the total number of retrenchments in the first half of 2020 to 11,350, said MOM on its report.
It also noted that the retrenchments in the second quarter of 2020 were now higher than the peak during the SARS period, but remained lower than the all-time high of the Global Financial Crisis.
In a post on its Facebook page on Monday (12 July), the vegetarian restaurant stated that it assesses each case with “in-depth investigations” and try their best to people overcome their most critical issues.
“Could be a listening ear, a job’s introduction or even support them with a small amount of cash daily just enough for them to stay strong and continue hanging in there,” the post read.
Beyond that, the restaurant also helps people with applying for government assistance.
The restaurant added: “We understand Mummy Yummy cannot be providing everything to them even if we want to due to over stretching our resources and keeping Mummy Yummy alive.
“So what we do is we always will refer genuine and urgent cases to our partners in local SSO or MSF for interviews to apply public assistances for them if they haven’t done that before with the necessary information so that the agencies can cross verify on their end and expedite the process for them.”
The restaurant went on to urge those who are having trouble with daily life and are feeling demoralised to walk to their nearest Social Security Officer (SSO) and request to speak with an officer.
“They will sit down and listen to you, it’s their job to do that,” the post stressed, urging people not to keep things to themselves or make their lives more difficult than it already is.
Mummy Yummy then added: “When all else failed, Mummy Yummy will be here for you to work something out and see how to tide you over until you can get out of your troubles.
“We have witnessed many fellow Singaporean stepping out and seek help. As long as you are still alive, there is still hope,” it urged.
The restaurant then thanked those who have been supporting its projects and initiatives over the years.
It also included details on how others may chip in as well if they wish to help, as well as a list of 32 of its sponsors so far, ranging from donations as small as S$25 to S$1200.
Jobs for Singaporeans?
Now, while many Singaporeans are facing pandemic-induced strife right now and are unable to secure employment, the question to ask is whether there are jobs available for them to take up in the first place.
Looking at the labour statistics for Singapore, the total number of employment passes (EPs) from 2005 to 2020 increased by about 112,000. In comparison, the number of local professionals, executives, and managers (PMEs) grew by over 380,000 in the same period.
This was revealed by Second Minister for Trade and Industry Dr Tan See Leng in Parliament on 6 July.
During parliament when asked if the growth of the local PME jobs were being filled by Singaporeans, Dr Tan noted the low citizen unemployment rate of about 3 per cent over the past 10 years. He also pointed out that 87 per cent of citizens were born in the country.
However, he also stressed that foreign banks and Infocomm companies that created jobs in Singapore would still need to hire foreign workers as the local talent pool is inadequate to fulfil all the needs, breadth and depth of these enterprises.
“The misconception is that if we say ‘no’ to the foreigners coming in… these jobs they would have taken would all go to Singaporeans… Today, even as we speak, we still have about 22,000 PME jobs that are not filled,” he said.
“Companies are desperate to fill these jobs. They would love to take in Singaporeans if they could.”