Overcoming COVID-19 Together: 3 Updates on Malaysia’s Movement Control Order

20 Mar 2020

Ref No.: 200320 (2)

UEN: S97SS0046G

Dear Valued ASPRI Members,

Overcoming COVID-19 Together: 3 Updates on Malaysia’s Movement Control Order


1/3:  Singapore-Malaysia Special Working Committee on COVID-19

Please see below for a statement by Ministry Of Foreign Affairs (MFA) on 20 March 2020

Senior Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security Teo Chee Hean spoke with Malaysian Senior Minister and Minister of Defence Dato’ Sri Ismail Sabri Yaakob over the telephone on 19 March 2020. They discussed coordination of both countries’ arrangements to safeguard the health of the citizens of Singapore and Malaysia, while minimising disruptions to our companies, workers and citizens.

The two Senior Ministers agreed that Malaysians with Singapore work permits will continue to work in Singapore during this period, with appropriate health screening and suitable accommodation arrangements. Dato’ Sri Ismail Sabri assured Senior Minister Teo that Malaysia will facilitate the smooth transport of food across our land checkpoints. Both sides will facilitate the bilateral transport of commercial goods across our land checkpoints.

Both sides also agreed to establish three working groups under the Special Working Committee on COVID-19, which both Senior Ministers are chairing, to coordinate:
I.    Movement of people
II.    Movement of goods
III.    Daily operational issues at our land checkpoints.

Full statement herehttps://www.mfa.gov.sg/Newsroom/Press-Statements-Transcripts-and-Photos/2020/03/200320_Singapore-Malaysia-Special-Working-Committee-on-COVID

2/3: Safeguarding Transmission Risks in Temporary Housing for Workers

In view of the significant entry of Malaysian workers before the Movement Control Order was implemented in Malaysia, employers must exercise utmost responsibility to safeguard your firm and Singapore against the risk of COVID-19 transmission amongst these workers at the workplace, and critically, at their temporary accommodation.  Doing so is also important for the service continuity of your firm. 
Employers are required to:
•    Comply with MOM and MOH advisories on social distancing at both work and living spaces;
•    Ensure workers living in temporary accommodations are housed in proper and sustainable facilities to mitigate the risk of rapid transmission and not over-crowd the room;
•    Ensure workers minimise social contact after work and stay confined to their accommodation rooms.  They should not be hanging out at public places or congregating at communal facilities including those at their own accommodation locations (eg. lobbies, lounges, gymnasiums; rooms of each other);
•    Be extra vigilant for symptoms in employees, and implement additional precautions including:
    Carrying out twice-daily temperature screening;
    Looking out for respiratory symptoms such as cough and runny nose amongst all your employees
    Sending unwell employees away from workplace to see a doctor immediately
    Stepping up cleaning of workplace premises
    Maintaining adequate social distancing at work

3/3: Costs of housing affected workers in short-term housing

To help employers defray the additional costs of housing affected workers in short-term housing, eligible employers can apply for temporary housing support of $50 per affected worker per night, capped at 14 nights to cover the extra housing costs incurred. Affected workers refer to workers who:

A.    Are Singapore Citizens, Permanent Residents or Work Pass holders who are Malaysia citizens;
B.    Reside in Malaysia and commute to Singapore; and
C.    Are housed in Singapore in hotels, dormitories or rented accommodation between 18 March and 31 March 2020

As part of business continuity planning, employers should continue to look for housing options on a more sustainable basis to house their Malaysia workers.

Employers who wish to apply for the temporary housing support can submit their applications on the MOM website from 1 April 2020. Conditions will include ensuring that their employees are in employment between 18 March 2020 and 31 March 2020. Applications should only be submitted after the affected worker has completed his/her stay in the short-term housing. 

More details will be released on the MOM website shortly.

Full statement here: https://www.mom.gov.sg/newsroom/press-releases/2020/0319-temporary-housing-support-for-employers-affected-by-malaysias-movement-control-order