Homeless in Singapore, some Malaysians spend the night outdoors

The deserted Causeway linking Singapore and Johor Bahru, following Malaysia’s move to close its borders in the battle against Covid-19. (Reuters pic)

PETALING JAYA: Some Malaysians who do menial jobs in Singapore have been forced to make an MRT station their home, after deciding to stay put in the city-state following travel restrictions by Putrajaya which bar them from returning to Singapore to work for the next two weeks.

Today Online reported that about 20 Malaysian workers made the Kranji MRT station their home as they could not find accommodation.

“The station is quiet at night so it’s peaceful to sleep here. The other Malaysians who sleep here are also people I’ve seen before,” dishwasher Sarala, 36, told the news portal.

She is among some 300,000 Malaysians who commute to the republic daily to work. Many decided to stay put in Singapore following Malaysia’s movement control order (MCO) to contain the Covid-19 pandemic.

MCO among others bans Malaysians from travelling abroad until March 31, and subjects returning citizens to a 14-day quarantine.

The Singapore government earlier announced a S$50 incentive for every worker daily, to be paid to employers who arrange accommodation for their Malaysian workers.

Today Online said most budget accommodations had been fully booked, while some employers had not promised a place to stay for their Malaysian workers.

Chandra, a mother of four who works as a cleaner, said she would shower in the morning at her workplace near Tuas.

But other Malaysians are not that lucky, Today Online reported.

Among them is Mohana Ambigai Dewi, 25. She lost her job as a school cleaner after she failed to turn up for work on Tuesday due to the congestion at the Causeway.

“My phone battery died so I could not call my boss to tell him that I could not go to work,” she told Today Online.