Malaysia decides, Singapore pays.

Were the PAP ministers caught flat-footed by theIr Malaysian counterparts?

The sudden and bold decision of new Malaysian PM Muhyiddin Yasin to swiftly lock down the country for two weeks as part of measures to arrest the spread of the Coronavirus must have shocked many people here.

Singapore saw a record increase of 47 new infections on Mar18 including 33 imported cases.

As Singapore and Malaysia’s economies and other human activities are so closely intertwined, the sudden lock-down of the Causeway linking the two countries is a major issue that cannot be taken lightly.

“More than 300,000 people, many of them Malaysians working in Singapore, use the land checkpoints between the two countries daily.” (ST 18-3-20).

Because of the suddenness of the Malaysian government in announcing and implementing the lock-down decision, all that Manpower Minister Josephine Teo could say was “the government was helping companies that employ Malaysian workers, especially those providing essential services, to find temporary accommodation in Singapore.” There are about 100000 Malaysians working here have no living arrangements in Singapore.

The MOM took on the responsibility of helping these Malaysian workers to settle their accommodation needs in Singapore for a decision made by their own government which affected their livelihood.

Josephine Teo was pleased to announce that “ more than 10,000 Malaysians working in Singapore and affected by the travel ban starting today found accommodation in Singapore within just a few hours yesterday.” (ST18-3-20).

Housing options for these workers are staying with relatives, friends or colleagues, putting them up in hotels and dormitories or outright rental of accommodations for them by their employers. The government is generous in immediately offering a housing subsidy of $50/- a worker per night for 14 days to their employers. Are workers staying with relatives, friends or colleagues also eligible to claim this subsidy via their employers?

I can understand the objective of this housing subsidy for Malaysian workers who are stuck in Singapore with the closure of the Causeway. Using a conservative estimate of 100,000 workers, the cost to Singapore is $70m. So Malaysia decides, Singapore pays (with public funds). It happens once to often that the government offers this subsidy and that subsidy to overcome a problem. I feel it is poor governance by simply using public money to overcome a problem that was unanticipated by the 4G leaders.

Money aside, the accommodation of up to 300,000 Malaysians in Singapore for the next 14 days is like opening a new flood-gate of allowing foreign nationals into Singapore at this critical time without knowing if any of them is infected.

Daily commuting between Singapore and Johore isn’t the same as living with a family in a HDB flat or a dormitory for foreign workers for 14 days.

The concern here is local transmission by infected people who have yet show symptoms. Today, Malaysia is a hot spot of Covid19 infections among SEAsian countries with 790 infections and two deaths as at Mar18.

This issue was highlighted in Guardian dated Mar12:

“Many Coronavirus infections may be spread by people who have recently caught the virus and have not yet begun to show symptoms, scientists have found.”

“An analysis of infections in Singapore and Tianjin in China revealed that two-thirds and three-quarters of the people respectively appear to have caught it from others who were incubating the virus but still symptom-free.”

“Researchers in Belgium and the Netherlands drew on the data from outbreaks in Singapore and Tianjin to work out the ‘generation interval’ for Covid19. The generation interval is the time between one person getting infected and them infecting another. The figure is valuable for estimating the speed at which an outbreak will unfold.”

“The mean generation interval was 5.2 days in the Singapore cluster and 3.95 days in the China cluster…”

While there are some uncertainties in calculating the exact proportion of infections likely to spread from people who were still incubating and had yet to develop symptoms, based on the lowest estimate, there was substantial transmission of Coronavirus from people who had yet to fall ill. Not able to determine who infected whom poses difficulties in the research.

“In the Singapore cluster, between 45% and 84% of the infections appeared to come from people incubating the virus. In China, the figures ranged from 65% to as much as 87%.”

The Malaysian government’s decision to lock-down the country and thereby forcing up to 300,000 workers to live 14 days in Singapore added a new dimension to Singapore’s public health. No one really knows if any of them is already infected with Coronavirus before coming into Singapore and still symptom-free and yet infectious during incubation but not yet ill.

It seems we are saddled with a fait accompli without a solution.

With a range of measures and promise of even stronger measures adopted by the Multi-Ministry Task Force, the politicians in the team have neither succeeded in containing the local spread of infections nor curbing the rapid increase of imported cases so far.

The daily increases are going up by double digits since last week.

The caution and reluctance of the Task Force to act act swiftly and decisively, unlike Malaysia, in tackling the epidemic head-on, is the root cause of this failure.

Economic and political considerations seem to outweigh the safety and public health of the entire population in Singapore. There can be no economic prosperity without good health.

With Malaysia becoming a hot spot of virus infection in the region, the inflow of a few hundred thousand Malaysian workers into Singapore and staying for 14 days may greatly increase the risk of local infections in the community and may even drive up the number of infections exponentially after 14 days.

I believe the present situation is fast getting out of control, contrary to PM Lee’s assurance in his speech last week.

https://www.theguardian.com/…/coronavirus-most-infections-s…

Take care, be safe.

 

Kok Ming Cheang

 

 

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25 Responses to “Malaysia decides, Singapore pays.”

  • labour issue:

    It shows the labour issue.
    We are too dependent on Malaysia workers.
    Need to address it, get more locals to take over some of the jobs.
    Need to understand why locals not able to do so all this while.
    May have to do a major structural change to our local employment salary to make it more attractive to employ locals in such industries that depend on Malaysia workers.
    Also may means more incentives to use technology and Automation in those industries.

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  • opposition dude:

    Kok Ming Cheang is correct in saying “Economic and political considerations seem to outweigh the safety and public health”. Why the government so keen to help the Malaysians is because at the end of the day money is the be all and end all for PAP. They cannot afford, and will not, to ask these Malaysians to leave. I wonder if they would do the same if the Philippines and India also imposed such a lockdown.

    And the new daily reporting also now includes the words “imported cases”. It’s obvious what PAP is doing with the term so as to say it isn’t their fault that non Singaporeans have the virus.

    The PAP isn’t doing as great as it likes to think. Sure they can write nice reports in the newspaper day after day but with the number of cases we have had since the start of the year you really have to wonder just what our overpaid ministers are really doing.

    Seriously, if any of these useless ministers were working for you as your health director or some high ranking position their heads would have rolled by now.

    And when Gan Kim Yong says anything does he honestly expect people to have confidence in him seeing as he lost 1.5 million patient records as well as several thousand HIV records?

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  • NSF for local born, jobs for:

    sheep with sons husbands uncles nephews cousins all very stupid.

    jobs for aliens Msians.

    NSF for own blood.

    so cock, as cock as tan kin lian.

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  • uselessgov:

    levies, levies, levies…..
    that is all they care about…

    LOW, LOW, LOW,,,, WAGES IS ALL THEY WANT….

    NO MINIMUM WAGE….

    FOR STUPID SINKIES…

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  • Very smart:

    India G is so smart to let SG take care of her unemployment problem. Malaysia G is also very smart to let SG share her covid-19 burden. Now who’s the best paid G & the most stupid ones?

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  • Absolutely Absurd:

    Malaysians are the responsibility of the Malaysian govt, NOT Singapore’s. It’s ridiclulous for the Malaysian govt to just lock out their own citizens. They should have the decency to RECALL all their countrymen.

    It’s even more ridiculus for Singapore to offer a subsidy of 50$ daily.

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  • NotMyProblem:

    From this Covid-19, we know why so many Singaporeans are unemployed.

    We know now, there are 400,000 Malaysians, 30,000 PRC here in SG. They are not as tourists, all are gainfully employed.

    What if we add up workers from Myanmar, Pinoy, Vietnam, Thailand, CECA Indian, Could it comes to 1-2 millions?

    Singaporeans are told to upskill, but no Minister can tell us what skill to upskill to.

    So Singaporeans now you know, but do you know what to do? Or we rather be PH drivers, doing delivery, car/property sale persons?

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  • PAPVID-20:

    Ftrom this incident, you say la, is our pap govt really seriously concerned about jobs going to more foreigners than singaporeans?

    Instead of taking this coronavirus outbreak to tell companies that they should hire less foreigners and more singaporeans, our pro-foreigners govt chose to support the employers and gave out plenty of easy monies.

    1st it’s the PRC workers and now the Msians. As if to tell the employers, never mind, there’s no problem that pap can’t solve as long as you support the pap. Pap has lots of money. Need money? Pap will give. Need lodging. Pap will arrange.

    What’s more worrying and sad is seeing the unthinking singaporeans applauding our govt. Singaporeans really don’t think. They trust the pap so much so that whatever the pap does must be right.

    The pap is only keen to show the dumb singaporeans and the world know what a kind, compassionate and ‘capable’ govt they are. They never think of the risk the huge no. of Msians will bring. And looking at the place that has been arranged to put up the Msians, all it take is a asymptomatic person to spread the virus and the whole lot of them would be spreading it to the innocent singaporeans.

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  • PAP's cheap acts:

    Get more Indians!
    Get more Chinese!
    more Vietnames, Burmess, Ang Mohs, Fillipinos and Sg girls will marry them and increase the population, maybe as mistress or spare tire!
    I congratulate Sg on these wonderful events!

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  • all govs lie:

    they just love to gamble with our cpf monies and our lives..
    dun belong to them so not a care.

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  • Pathettic Action Party:

    First it was locals who shunned certain jobs because of pay and status. The Malaysians are quick to follow suit.

    labour issue:
    It shows the labour issue.
    We are too dependent on Malaysia workers.
    Need to address it, get more locals to take over some of the jobs.
    Need to understand why locals not able to do so all this while.
    May have to do a major structural change to our local employment salary to make it more attractive to employ locals in such industries that depend on Malaysia workers.
    Also may means more incentives to use technology and Automation in those industries.

    GD Star Rating
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  • Be worthy:

    The 4GS are xia suay and useless.

    Always reactive to issues and problems affecting the livelihoods of the citizens.

    But these idiots are very clever and proactive to come out with measures to tekan sinkies like using pofkimas for anything not in their advantage.

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  • Jefftan:

    The day will not be far, when Malaysia politicians capitalize
    On the reliance of Malaysian worker.
    The stoppage of the flow could be sudden and immediate.
    The only assurance is to employ sporean, and stop giving excuses
    That sporean does not want a job

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  • Hopelesslyuselessgov:

    Levy, levy, levy,

    That is all the gov is interested in.

    No MINIMUM WAGE Sinkies

    1.5% GDP is all possible via massaging numbers

    12 to 15 months of BONUSES for themselves.

    Sinkies must die for REQUIRED IMPORTS….

    OF SLAVES…..MY, CN, ID, PH, BR, ETC ETC

    GD Star Rating
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  • patriot of TUMASIK:

    Pride comes down before a FALL!!!… Karma & Retribution…Lessons to be Learned for the Next Govt after GE 2021…”Humble is the Meek.they will INHERIT Singapore a Sea Town once known as Tumasik”

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  • Imagery:

    More will be infected that’s for sure! If these 300,000 bring new clusters to Sinkiland, then Muhyiddin should be congratulated for a job well done…better than Ahmadtir who pride himself for his long years as Govt ?

    This is the same as pink…….what did he do…….economics first people second or last?

    If we do not change th3 white uniform to Chee or Cheng bock’s red shirt……..Sinkies are go for a nosedive together with sia and t5 which was conjured out of imagery.

    GD Star Rating
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  • Lee Fatt Yew:

    Singapore seems like not a sovereign country because it seems like so fragile and dependent on foreigners and foreign countries just to survive.

    This means no personal ability to stand on its two feet . Yet, it keeps regularly do Self Praising to mask it’s Insecurity.

    A person who keeps singing own praise is someone who lacks confidence and lacks Independence.

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  • Bobo:

    Malaysia is independant as a country. Malaysians are very united – one goes all go; one left all will leave. They are able to survey without Singapore and Singaporeans. In Singapore however, only 30% genuine Singaporeans still could survey without M’sia and M’sians. Believe it or not, hear it out from our elites MPs.

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  • MarBowling:

    The sneaky move by Muhyiddin certainly has caused a big dent in Mai hum game plan to hold the GE asap! This sudden ‘IMPORTED’ huge problem not only poses health hazard to our folks but also put a stain on our health, social and security services when some of these 300,000 folks(heard some quick handed bosses have already served them termination notice)start to become restless although it’s only 2 weeks. What happen if the deadline is extended? This episode is an acid test for Mai Hum and Gang whether their obscene $millions salary is justified or not.

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  • SG Sovereignty in Doubt:

    Do you think SG is really truly Sovereign?

    Think again.

    Perception makes one Believe.

    What you believe is true may not be true.

    Whatever you perceive becomes your truth despite the truth .

    GD Star Rating
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  • Hawking Eye:

    If the Malaysians think they can bring a lockdown in Singapore by banning Malaysians from working here for a period of time, they need to go for a brain check. Thousands of workers from China and India can be brought here at a drop of the hat. People have choices and so do governments.

    GD Star Rating
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  • What rubbish is this?:

    Hawking Eye:

    If the Malaysians think they can bring a lockdown in Singapore by banning Malaysians from working here for a period of time, they need to go for a brain check. Thousands of workers from China and India can be brought here at a drop of the hat. People have choices and so do governments.

    Jumping to stupid irrational conclusion!
    What’s wrong with this fella?
    Do you expect others to think about your interest first over and above their own interests.
    What have they done so far to show that they deliberately want to do you in?
    You are being unnecessarily suspicious and thinking ill about your neighbours for no apparent reason.
    What a sick mind!
    Not surprisingly, many in the same mould it seems.
    Didn’t one of our big guns is on record saying that we have been preparing for food sufficiency for decades short of saying that we are always ready should our neighbour cut off our food supply.
    Why say that?
    Is this good friendly diplomacy especially during this time when we should be helping one another like decent human beings.
    You mean our neighbour would cut our food supply and clap their hands with glee .
    Have they cut off our food supply so far?
    So what’s the issue?
    We are quietly in a state of readiness, well and good, tell that to us but don’t add any mischievous “chilli” to it.
    Think the real issue is this perpetual small mindedness, never ending suspicious mind, this kiasu kiasi attitude, this arrogance of self-centredness, that others are always more stupid, you care for own well being only, really a sick sick sick mind.
    Why why behave like this?
    And isn’t it downright stupid to even suggest that the Malaysians could be replaced with Chinese and Indian workers “at a drop a of a hat”, right away you mean?
    What about job and business continuity?
    It is really sad to know that we have people of such shallow mentality.
    No wonder this little germ has been released to punish us, but looking at things, will they ever learn?
    Too hardheaded and downright stupid.
    And yet another ”educated” atheist thinks it’s a joke of some kind to suggest that pages of the holy books be used to clean arses.
    What sort of creatures are there in our midst!?
    Please rewire the brains and think long and hard.
    Don’t say things any old how.
    Don’t ask people to go for a “brain check” when you are badly in need of it yourself.
    Least of all, you are not God’s gift to the world.
    Remember that.

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  • without FTs, sinkie land will:

    //We are too dependent on Malaysia workers.//

    aiyoh. not only dependent on norther neighbours ? dependent on all chat-ba-lang due to open-leg policy ? white idiots can now further their monkey propaganda (and further their 6.9m or 10m open-leg policy) and say see “without FTs, sinkie land will sink” ??

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  • Pioneer:

    Long time back before the corona virus outbreak, we have homeless ciizens, the poor, the elderly, etc sleeping on roadsides, void decks, gardens, parks, etc. Have we oreidi found accommodations for all of them ? Just wondering, la.

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  • PG:

    It seems that Malaysia saves the burden of looking jobs for their own ppl (300,000 cross the causeway and 2nd link everyday) and it is to their advantages. How nice if these 300,000 jobs go to our Sinkies. Just a passing thought.

    GD Star Rating
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