JOHOR BARU: Malaysian workers, who chose to remain in Singapore during the present lockdown, are now living in fear as there are cases of bosses looking for excuses to terminate their employment.
This includes not wearing facemasks,
loitering or gathering around their hostel and not practising social distancing.
This has led some to believe their employers were just looking for an excuse to terminate them without paying them adequate compensation during the present Singapore lockdown known as circuit breaker – which has been extended until June 1.
Those found not adhering to the circuit breaker, which included not wearing
facemasks outside or not practising social distancing, face a S$300 (RM900) fine, and foreign workers may have their employment pass revoked.
A Malaysian, who only wanted to be known as Teo, said he was told by his employer – a Singaporean security company – to hand in his resignation letter for being late to work one day.Teo, who in his late 20s, admitted it was his fault for being late, but felt that the punishment was too harsh.
“I think that times are hard as the company has a lot of workers but they don’t get many contracts anymore, which is probably why they told me to resign.
“Currently, I am serving a one-month tender notice and have already made the necessary preparations to return to Malaysia, ” he said, adding that he hopes to return to Singapore once the lockdown is lifted.
Another Malaysian known only as Sam, said that he was terminated for not wearing a face mask several days ago.
“I have worked with this company for many years. But when my supervisor spotted me without a face mask, they decided to terminate me and asked me to pack my bags and return to Malaysia. They refused to listen to my explanation, ” he said, adding that he was planning to return to Johor soon.
Anwar, another Malaysian, said he was also given the boot for chatting with his friends outside their hostel without a mask.
“I was just casually chatting with my friends for a few minutes but I was caught and told that I am sacked, ” he said, adding that his employer could have just fined or given him a warning letter instead of sacking him.Johor Indian Business Association president P. Sivakumar said this was not the way to lay off workers.
“I know everyone is affected, especially businesses due to the lockdown but Singaporean employers should show some empathy when dealing with their workers instead of finding excuses to terminate them, ” he said, hoping that the Singapore government would stop such practices and take action against such companies.