Mr Leon Perera (Aljunied): Yes, Chairman. First cut on easing movement restrictions on migrant workers in dormitories.
Sir, migrant workers have experienced movement restrictions for almost two years. While the December update allows up to 3,000 workers out daily, workers are often not able to go out on workdays. What is the Ministry’s roadmap to ease restrictions? Can the Government explain specific criteria needed for the next round of easing, be it caseload, ICU usage and so on? The vaccination rate among dorm residents is 98% and that ought to be a consideration in easing movement restrictions.
Sir, the restrictions are taking their toll on the mental health of migrant workers and pose social risks. Experienced workers might prefer to go home, worsening the manpower shortage and making our economy hemorrhage experienced, more productive workers. We are suffering reputational damage in international news. Al Jazeera quoted one worker as saying: “I feel very sad about the difference in the lives between me and the rest of the people”.
Chairman, there are practical reasons to ease restrictions, but it is also the decent thing to do.
4 March 2022
Ministry of Manpower