SINGAPORE - Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Friday (Dec 18) expressed his thanks to migrant workers in Singapore for their trust, patience and support despite having gone through a difficult period since Singapore detected its first Covid-19 cases among them almost a year ago.
It took a "tremendous effort" to reach the stabilised situation now, but migrant workers are now healthy and safe from the virus, said PM Lee, in a video message marking International Migrants Day.
"We could not have done this without your cooperation and sacrifices," he said.
PM Lee assured migrant workers that they will be cared for just as Singaporeans are cared for.
"You are welcomed members of our society. If you fall ill, we will make sure you get medical care, stay in touch with your families, and can return to work as soon as possible," he said.
He noted that the rules put in place to keep Covid-19 spread in check are gradually being eased in migrant worker dormitories and the wider community.
Besides being able to visit recreational centres, migrant workers can now also take part in communal activities like cooking and sports, he said.
"With some luck, if the number of cases stays very low, we can ease up further. Please stay vigilant, and cooperate with the Government and with your employers to keep everyone safe.
"On behalf of all Singaporeans, I thank you once again for all your contributions and support, and I wish you a very happy International Migrants Day!"
To mark the occasion, the Migrant Workers' Centre (MWC) under the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) is organising a series of activities and events from Dec 13 to 27.
The MWC said in a statement that it aims to reach out to 20,000 workers through these celebrations to thank them for their contributions to Singapore.
Migrant workers can participate in a digital roadshow co-hosted by the MWC and telecommunications company Singtel on the MWC's Facebook page, which features performances by Bangladeshi and Indian celebrities as well as games with prizes to be won.
The MWC will also present its annual awards to 20 migrant worker "grassroots ambassadors" to recognise their efforts in going "above and beyond" to help fellow workers during the circuit breaker period.
Physical roadshows, where Singtel will offer discounts and promotions, will also be held at the MWC Recreation Centre in Soon Lee Road from Friday to Sunday for migrant workers with valid exit passes allowing them to leave their dorms.
The MWC said in its statement that it has spared no effort in helping migrant workers through the pandemic.
"In 2020 alone, MWC has reached out to more than 650,000 migrant workers - the largest number of migrant workers helped in a year," it said.
It added that it has distributed more than five million essential items such as masks, hand sanitisers and soap to workers living in dorms and temporary quarters, and it also provided almost a million meals to some 10,000 workers living in factory-converted dorms.
The MWC said it also supported the deployment of 130 telemedicine kiosks to more than 120 dorms and temporary quarters to provide migrant workers direct access to medical help and support.