Coronavirus: Dorm operators working closely with Muis, Government to support Muslim foreign workers during Ramadan

Minister of State for Manpower Zaqy Mohamad and Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Manpower Low Yen Ling giving out sahur (pre-dawn meal) to Muslim migrant workers at PPT Lodge 1A on April 24, 2020.
Minister of State for Manpower Zaqy Mohamad and Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Manpower Low Yen Ling giving out sahur (pre-dawn meal) to Muslim migrant workers at PPT Lodge 1A on April 24, 2020.ST PHOTO: ARIFFIN JAMAR

SINGAPORE - Local dormitory operators under the Dormitory Association of Singapore will work closely with the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (Muis) and the Government to support the religious needs of Muslim migrant workers during the holy month of Ramadan, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said on Friday (April 24).

New prayer mats and essentials for breaking fast, such as dates, may also be provided as part of efforts to provide assistance necessary for Muslim workers to perform their religious obligations, the ministry added.

It said Muslim workers who live in dormitories may perform prayers on their own or with those in the same room while keeping a safe distance.

On Friday morning at about 3am, Minister of State for Manpower Zaqy Mohamad and Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Manpower Low Yen Ling visited PPT Lodge 1A in Punggol during the distribution of the first Ramadan meal to Muslim migrant workers living there.

The facility is one of the 25 dorms in Singapore that have been gazetted as isolation areas, where workers are quarantined in their rooms for a 14-day period.

Ustaz Khidir Ibrahim, who engages migrant workers that usually worship at the nearby Al-Islah mosque, was also present at the event.

Mr Zaqy said in the MOM statement: "This Covid-19 situation requires all hands to be on the ground, and the dormitory operators coming forward to do their bit for the Muslim migrant workers to mitigate these difficult circumstances is appreciated.

"We look forward to their continued support as we continue to prioritise the welfare of our migrant workers."

Ms Low, who is also mayor of South West District, said: "During this special time of Ramadan, we appreciate the efforts and understanding of our migrant workers, especially those who are Muslim.

 
 
 

"It has not been easy, and they have made sacrifices to keep to the Covid-19 measures. To help our migrant workers get through this crisis, numerous community partners, organisations, corporates and individuals have stepped forward to give generously of their time, efforts and resources."

Mr Kelvin Low, general manager of Tee Up Dormitory, which runs PPT Lodge 1A, said every dorm operator is committed to keeping each of their residents safe and well.

"We are working closely and tirelessly with the Government, employers of foreign workers and all our residents to ensure the welfare of migrant workers," said Mr Low, who is also the secretary-general of the Dormitory Association of Singapore.

"We are determined to win this war against the coronavirus, no matter how long it may take."