Beware of job scams, warns envoy


SINGAPORE: Malaysian job seekers, trying to capitalise on the present high currency exchange rate, have been advised to be wary and not to be scammed while trying to land lucrative jobs in the island republic, says the High Commission of Malaysia here.

Its High Commissioner to Singapore Datuk Dr Azfar Mohamad Mustafar advised job seekers to be vigilant as there were reports of people promising certain jobs only to find them non-existent when they arrived here.

“It is better for them to apply directly to the companies or via official channels.

“Some of them (Malaysians) may be afraid to lodge reports as they could have entered the country through unofficial channels,” he said.

He urged Malaysians in need of assistance to contact the High Commission here for help.

“So far, Malaysian workers can be described as one of the most disciplined among foreign workers in Singapore,” he said, urging them to continue to abide by the laws in Singapore at all times.

He was speaking during a special Chinese New Year open house gathering for about 200 foreign dignitaries and guests at his official residence here on Saturday.

Asked about interest in the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) between Malaysia and Singapore, Azfar said there has been a lot of excitement and people were waiting for the details.

“However, seamless connectivity will be paramount for the success of the SEZ. That is why I always tell the checkpoint agencies in both countries to have talks together and come up with two- to five-year plans on how to handle it.

Comfort classics: Azfar helping to prepare roti canai for his guests during the Chinese New Year Open house event at his official residence in Singapore. Looking on is his wife Datin Che Norhayati Soib (left). — THOMAS YONG/The StarComfort classics: Azfar helping to prepare roti canai for his guests during the Chinese New Year Open house event at his official residence in Singapore. Looking on is his wife Datin Che Norhayati Soib (left). — THOMAS YONG/The Star

“If one country becomes too efficient, it will lead to congestion in the other.

“So it is better for both countries to work together to ensure smooth connectivity without bottlenecks,” he added.

Separately, Azfar said that Singapore has submitted a proposal to acquire two pieces of freehold land totalling 0.9ha for the expansion of the country’s Woodlands checkpoint.

“They submitted a proposal last year to acquire it at the market rate. We have several plots of land in Singapore, which is under the Office of the Federal Commissioner of Lands.

“We also have similar plots in Holland Village, which is used by the Malaysian Customs Department, while my residence here is under the purview of the Foreign Ministry.

“We have suggested swapping the Woodlands land for other parcels similar to what was done previously with the land around Tanjong Pagar,” he said, adding that they are still awaiting a decision from Putrajaya.

During the Chinese New Year gathering, besides the tossing of yee sang, Azfar promoted local delicacies such as Malaysia’s nasi lemak, teh tarik and roti canai as part of the “Malaysian breakfast culture” to his 200 guests.

“The Malaysian breakfast culture” has been submitted to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) for inclusion in the list of the world’s Intangible Cultural Heritage.

He said a decision to include the three items on the Unesco list will be made in November this year.

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