MALAYSIANS looking for jobs in Singapore can look forward to getting employed when the city-state’s economy rebounds post-Covid-19, say business associations.
Johor Indian Business Association president P. Sivakumar said locals who worked in the republic would benefit from the economic growth.
“When Singapore’s economy grows, they still need foreign talents and workers, including Malaysians,’’ he said when contacted.
Malaysians working in Singapore, he said, would rather remain there amid the pandemic and border closure since March 18 last year.
He said Singapore benefited the most from the closing of the border as Malaysian workers had to stay put and spend money there, which helped boost the economy.
“Although we don’t have the exact number of Malaysian workers in Singapore who have returned to Malaysia for good, I believe the number is low.
“At the end of the day, financial interests is the main attraction for Malaysians working there and new job seekers,’’ said Sivakumar.
He said once the border between the two countries opened, the Johor Causeway would again become busy with thousands of Malaysians commuting daily from Johor Baru to Singapore to work.
“It will be good for the local economy as the money earned there will be spent in Johor Baru,’’ said Sivakumar.
Johor South SME adviser Teh Kee Sin said it was good news for Malaysians that Singapore still needed foreign workers and talents.
“Like Malaysia, the majority of Singaporeans will not want to do 3D (Dangerous, Difficult, Dirty) jobs,’’ he said.
Teh said Malaysians working in Singapore, especially skilled workers and professionals, continued to work there during the pandemic.
This was necessary for those who had housing and car loans and for their children’s education, he said.
“Sometimes, you have to make some sacrifice for the good of your family.”
Teh said thousands of Malaysians who commuted daily to Singapore to work before Covid-19 had contributed to the state’s progress.
These people, he pointed out, had helped boost the local economy as the money earned in Singapore and spent in Johor contributed to development.
Prior to the pandemic, unofficial figures showed some 300,000 Malaysians commuted daily from Johor to Singapore for work while another 400,000 locals worked and lived there.
Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said in his National Day message that Singapore had to adjust its policies to manage the quality and number of foreigners in Singapore.
He warned that turning inwards would damage Singapore’s long-standing image as a global and regional hub.
Just under 30% of Singapore’s 5.7 million population are non- residents, up from around 10% in 1990, according to government statistics.