KUALA LUMPUR, March 19 — Malaysians who travel daily to Singapore for work but have been affected by Malaysia’s two-week nationwide shutdown can reach out to the Malaysian Association in Singapore (Masis) for help, the association said.
Masis president Aarathi Arumugam said the association — which links Malaysians living and working in Singapore to each other — was well poised to provide assistance to other Malaysians.
“We are not an NGO, just an association here in Singapore. A social network of people who have a varying number of years here in Singapore.
“I think we are particularly well placed with our vast network to help our fellow Malaysians so they are safe and can move forward with peace of mind in these times,” Aarathi, who is herself a business owner in Singapore, told Malay Mail.
Offer to help
In the form, Masis said it is currently coordinating efforts to help Malaysians affected by the Malaysian government’s restriction of movement order, which currently bans all Malaysians — including those travelling daily to Singapore for work — from travelling abroad from March 18 to March 31.
“If you’re a Malaysian, living in Malaysia and commuting and working in Singapore daily who has been affected by these sudden changes, please feel free to leave your particulars here, detailing the assistance you need.
“With the information collected, Masis will endeavor to coordinate efforts with the relevant bodies to do our best to render some assistance,” the online form read, with affected Malaysians asked to put in details such as their names, contact details, company name and company address.
The online form also asks affected Malaysians to indicate the issues they are currently facing, including for accommodation, medical needs, transportation out of or into Singapore, or other needs.
What kind of help
When asked how Masis plans to help affected Malaysians, Aarathi told Malay Mail the association could help out with those looking for a place to stay, saying: “We are in touch with several establishments to try and secure reasonable rates for those who need it. This includes hostels and such.”
As for medical needs, Aarathi said Masis could help on a case-by-case basis, noting: “For example, if they need prescriptions filled while they are in Singapore, we might be able to help.”
For those who need transport either into or out of Singapore, Aarathi said: “We are in touch with the necessary authorities with the help of the Malaysian High Commission here if they need to get home urgently. This will be assessed on a case by case basis.”
Since Masis made its offer last night for help to affected Malaysians, Aarathi said 20 individuals have so far contacted the association for assistance, with most of the requests for help related to the seeking of accommodation and passage into Singapore.
While Masis is an association for Malaysians in Singapore, Aarathi said the offer to help is to all Malaysians affected by the restriction of movement order and who are stuck in Singapore and need assistance.
According to the Masis website, the association was launched in October 2014 with the support of its then patron and then High Commissioner in Malaysia to Singapore Datuk Husni Zai Yaacob, with its current patron being the current High Commissioner in Malaysia to Singapore Datuk Zainol Rahim Zainuddin.
Following the Monday announcement of Malaysia’s restriction to movement order that imposes overseas travel bans on Malaysians for two weeks starting from yesterday, news reports emerged of Malaysians scrambling to cross the border into Singapore in time before the ban took effect in order to be able to continue working with their Singapore employers.
While the Singapore government on Tuesday said temporary housing has been matched for 10,000 Malaysians wishing to remain within Singapore during the two-week period, Singapore employers have also been reported rushing to find places for their Malaysian employees to stay and with many hostels in Singapore saying they were fully booked out to house these employees.
Some other Malaysian workers were however reported to have slept at an MRT station in Singapore as they have yet to have temporary accommodation, before they were relocated to temporary relief centres.