Malaysia has announced that the country’s lockdown will extend to April 14, because the number of infected continued to increase.
The extension means Singapore employers who are paying for the lodging of Malaysian workers in Singapore, will have to pay more or send them back home. The Singapore economy is heavily reliant on cheap foreign labour and the Malaysia lockdown has crippled many Singapore businesses.
Yesterday, the National Environment Agency (NEA) called for the Singaporean public to hold on to their trashes longer at home as the government is short on Malaysian cleaners. Public transport companies are also struggling to keep bus drivers, where Malaysians form at least 20% of the workforce.
Aside from manpower shortage on essential services, the lockdown will also mean lower supply of food from Malaysia as Malaysia farms face similar manpower shortage. The current shortage of eggs and vegetables will be more acute further as Malaysia struggle to provide domestically. Food prices have also inflated at least 30% in Singapore due to the severe shortage.
A third extension past April 14 is likely considering that the number of cases in Malaysia continue to surge.