Forum: Govt's help in housing Malaysian workers much appreciated

A photo from March 17, 2020, shows people at the Woodlands Train Checkpoint.
A photo from March 17, 2020, shows people at the Woodlands Train Checkpoint.ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN

I support the Government's initiative to subsidise companies that need to provide accommodation for their Malaysian workers affected by the movement restrictions imposed by the Malaysian government (Broader impact of helping to house Malaysian workers, March 25).

Malaysian workers have been a part of Singapore's traditional workforce for decades. Many Singapore businesses depend on these workers for their daily operations in areas such as food and beverage, construction and manufacturing, where they are mostly employed in jobs that many Singaporeans shun.

I work for one of the affected companies, and fully appreciate the Government's initiative to provide $50 a day per worker. This subsidy helps to defray our actual operating cost of about $200 a day to keep each worker with us so that our business operations can continue during this period.

It is unfortunate that the Covid-19 pandemic has brought about challenges beyond companies' expected risks.

The subsidy, however, is a great help and is needed for local businesses to remain in operation.

The current crisis is also a lesson for us to learn to be prepared for the unexpected in the future.

Lai Kim Yung

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 27, 2020, with the headline 'Govt's help in housing Malaysian workers much appreciated'. Subscribe