Muslim migrant workers receive meals before they begin fasting for Ramadan

Senior Minster of State for Manpower and Defence Zaqy Mohamad (second from right) handing out meals at Quick Build Dormitory @ Choa Chu Kang Grove.
Senior Minster of State for Manpower and Defence Zaqy Mohamad (second from right) handing out meals at Quick Build Dormitory @ Choa Chu Kang Grove.ST PHOTO: TIMOTHY DAVID

SINGAPORE - As Muslims across Singapore had their first sahur, or pre-dawn meal, before beginning the fast during the month of Ramadan, Senior Minster of State for Manpower and Defence, Mr Zaqy Mohamad, and a number of volunteers were at Quick Build Dormitory @ Choa Chu Kang Grove.

They handed out over 800 meals, which included chapatti (unleavened flatbread), dhal (lentil curry) and dessert as well as fruit and milk, to Muslim migrant workers.

Mr Zaqy said in a Facebook post: "It is heartening to see Singaporeans from all walks of life coming together to support our migrant workers in a bid to make this Ramadan even more meaningful for them. Many have been away from their families and loved ones for some time due to Covid-19 travel restrictions."

Mr Zaqy had his pre-dawn meal together with the Muslim migrant workers and joined them in a morning congregational prayer.

"I am especially thankful, reflecting on how a year ago we had marked the start of Ramadan during circuit breaker under very different conditions. We are now in a much better situation, and on a path of recovery," he added.

The pre-dawn meal was an initiative of the Assurance, Care and Engagement (Ace) Group under the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), non-government organisation collective Homeforall Migrants and SDI Academy, which provides skills-based training for migrant workers.

This year, Muslims in Singapore have been able to safely resume Ramadan activities like terawih - evening congregational prayers - and porridge distribution at mosques.

Last week, MOM also announced that dormitories will be allowed to hold congregational prayer sessions for up to 200 attendees during Ramadan.

Mr Ullah Sharif, 42, was one of the migrant workers who attended the first terawih congregational prayers at Westlite Juniper dormitory at Mandai on Monday night (April 12).

The safety supervisor from Bangladesh said: "Most of us are very happy to be able to have terawih prayers this year as it has been a long time since we could pray as a group."

Mr Ullah added that they conducted their prayers in groups of 50 and were supervised by the dormitory's security personnel to ensure safe management measures were adhered to.

Porridge distribution, a tradition practised by mosques and some community centres in Singapore, resumed on Tuesday as well. Porridge can be collected at various mosques across the island typically between 4pm and 6pm.