Refusing to take unpaid leaves, Malaysian workers who refuse to go back to Malaysia are choosing to sleep in HDB void decks for the next 14 days to save money. Other Malaysians chose to sleep in their vehicles, company store rooms, empty carparks, tents at beaches in Singapore and parks near shopping malls.
An estimated 100,000 out of 415,000 Malaysian workers are staying in Singapore while Malaysia closes its border from March 17 to March 31. Only a few employers are providing free accommodation, while the rest are told to go back to Malaysia and take unpaid leaves.
Singapore’s Manpower Minister Josephine Teo dipped her hands in Singapore taxes and offered each Malaysian worker S$50 accommodation fees a night for 14 days. The welfare for foreigners totalled S$700 per Malaysian, which is 7 times the S$100 financial assistance Singaporeans received at the recent Budget.
According to a Malaysian forum, other Malaysians working in Malaysia are also taking 14 days unpaid leave, and many questioned why are Malaysians who work in Singapore insisted on staying in Singapore as “beggars”.