Many forced to spend Ramadan away from family

JOHOR BARU: This year’s Ramadan is not the same for dozens of Malaysians working in Singapore.

For one, they are unable to be close to their families due to the movement control order (MCO).

Those who decided to remain in the island republic are forced to spend the fasting month away from their loved ones due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Among them is auxiliary police officer Mohd Fairuz Mohd, 30, who said it was a necessary sacrifice.

“I have to continue working here to earn a living and take care of my family back home. There is no choice.

“In previous years, during Ramadan I used to make it a point to spend a few days with my family.

“This year I decided to stay put due to restrictions in both countries.

“I miss being home now but do not see any other way to handle this situation,” said Mohd Fairuz.

“The atmosphere everywhere is also different, kind of sombre. Mosques are closed and there are no Ramadan bazaars.

“The virus has changed our lifestyles.

“However, since the mosques are also closed, I perform terawih prayers at home,” he said, adding that the lively bazaars at Geylang Serai were also closed.

Another Malaysian working in Singapore, Nik Muhamad Hafizzudin, said leaving his wife and child in Johor was a sad experience.

“I was married last year and this year is my first Ramadan with my three-month-old old son.

“I miss my family dearly and hope to celebrate Hari Raya Aidilfitri together,” he said, adding that the cost of living in Singapore was also very high.

Another Malaysian, who only wanted to be known as Nurqamarina, 36, said she was recently engaged to a Singaporean.

“I have to spend Ramadan away from my fiance now due to the MCO.

“The company I work for does not come under essential services and I had to return to Malaysia,” she said.

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