A report carried by a local daily claiming that Malaysian workers in Singapore are living like vagrants on the streets of the city-state has come under question following an investigation by the republic’s authorities.
Authorities said they had spoken to a Malaysian man who was quoted by the New Straits Times (NST) in its report on Nov 22, adding that he could not provide details of his claim that he had encountered homeless Malaysian workers.
Shahruddin Haeal Helmy Mohd Noh, 34, told NST that over 100 Malaysian workers in Singapore had become homeless as they could not afford accommodation, and were forced to take drastic measures due to pay cuts during the Covid-19 pandemic as well as the closure of the border.
But according to the republic’s manpower ministry, Shahruddin could not confirm his claims.
“He did not know of any Malaysian worker who does not have a place to stay and also stated that he did not tell the reporter from NST that ‘over 100 Malaysians there had become homeless’,” the ministry was quoted as saying by Singapore’s The Straits Times.
The NST report had triggered visits by Singapore officials to the places listed by Shahruddin.
The manpower ministry said anyone found sleeping in the streets, including foreign workers, would be given assistance.