Coronavirus: Migrant workers may lose work passes if they don't disperse when told by MOM

The Manpower Ministry said the steps were taken in view of tighter measures at the national level.
The Manpower Ministry said the steps were taken in view of tighter measures at the national level.ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG

Migrant workers who gather in large numbers in public may have their work passes revoked if they do not disperse when ordered to by the authorities.

The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said yesterday it would step up inspections on the ground to disperse large gatherings of foreign workers, in particular foreign domestic workers (FDWs).

"As outdoor gatherings among FDWs tend to be large, MOM will take action to disperse them as an added precaution... Workers who do not cooperate will have their work passes revoked," it said.

MOM singled out places frequented by migrant workers, including City Plaza in Paya Lebar, where Indonesian maids, among others, are seen, and Lucky Plaza in Orchard Road, popular with Filipino maids on their days off.

It also highlighted Little India, frequented by workers from the South Asian community, and Peninsula Plaza in North Bridge Road, also known as "Little Burma" for its patronage by the Myanmar community.

As of last June, there were about 255,800 FDWs and 284,300 foreign construction workers here.

MOM said the steps were taken in view of tighter measures at the national level.

From 11.59pm today, all entertainment venues such as bars and cinemas will have to close, and gatherings outside work and school cannot exceed 10 people.

Malls can open but must ensure crowd density is reduced.

MOM yesterday advised foreign workers to remain in their residence on rest days, and said their employers and dormitory operators should "educate" them on this.

Workers should minimise time spent outside when running important errands, while employers should know where they are and have them return home once their tasks are complete, it added.

STRICT ACTION

As outdoor gatherings among FDWs tend to be large, MOM will take action to disperse them as an added precaution.

MINISTRY OF MANPOWER

Workers should also observe good personal hygiene and minimise physical contact by not shaking hands or sharing food, and maintaining a safe distance from one another. If they meet indoors, workers must observe the latest rules on gatherings, MOM added.

"Collective social responsibility is critical in slowing the transmission of Covid-19. We ask for the cooperation of workers to take necessary precautions and exercise individual responsibility," it said.

Tee Zhuo

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 26, 2020, with the headline 'Migrant workers may lose work passes if they don't disperse when told by MOM'. Print Edition | Subscribe