WITH Singapore easing anti-Covid-19 measures ahead of the June 1 lifting of its circuit breaker, many Malaysian migrant workers have applied to return to the republic but few have succeeded.
According to a report in Oriental Daily News yesterday, some have sent in applications for up to six times without success.
Singapore Manpower Minister Josephine Teo said her ministry had processed about 80,000 applications by expatriates to return to Singapore but could only approve a minority.
Meanwhile, its National Development Minister Lawrence Wong said Malaysians who hold work permits and are currently in Singapore can continue to work in the republic.
But he said post-circuit breaker, Singapore will only issue work permits to Malaysian migrant workers whose services are deemed essential.
Singapore’s move to tighten its work-permit process means many Malaysian migrant workers who returned home because of the Covid-19 pandemic will lose their rice bowl.
Many of those who are affected took to social media to express their dismay over the slim chance of getting re-employed in Singapore.
Among them, 30-year-old Wu Jia Eng, who has worked in the republic as a salesgirl for six years before she was retrenched when the coronavirus hit, told the daily she did not hold any prospect of returning to Singapore anytime soon.
“Many owners of the shops at the (Changi) airport have retrenched their workers. But I think Singaporean employers still have a preference for Malaysians when it comes to rehiring.
“It is unlikely that I can go back to Singapore to work this year.
“But I’m taking things one step at a time and I believe where there’s a will there’s a way,” she said, expressing optimism about having better luck next year.
Read this story on our iPaper: