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No work pass holders found sleeping rough, says MOM, following Malaysian media report on 'homeless Malaysians' in Singapore

SINGAPORE — The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said on Thursday (Dec 3) that it did not find any work pass holders sleeping on the streets during checks at various locations islandwide recently.

No work pass holders found sleeping rough, says MOM, following Malaysian media report on 'homeless Malaysians' in Singapore

File photo of Kranji MRT Station at about 9pm on March 19, 2020. At least 20 Malaysian workers were seen sleeping behind the gates of the MRT station the previous day, TODAY had reported.

SINGAPORE — The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said on Thursday (Dec 3) that it did not find any work pass holders sleeping on the streets during checks at various locations islandwide recently.

This follows a report in Malaysian newspaper The New Straits Times (NST) that was titled Homeless Malaysians in Singapore and published on Nov 22.

In the article, a 34-year-old Malaysian worker by the name of Shahruddin Haeal Helmy Mohd Noh had claimed that more than 100 of his fellow countrymen in Singapore were homeless because they could not afford to rent a room or a bed.

MOM said that it has contacted the worker, who then denied making the statement to the reporter from NST.

The NST report claimed that "hundreds of Malaysians" working in Singapore had to "live like vagrants" following the closure of the Malaysia-Singapore border due to Covid-19.

The article had quotes from Mr Shahruddin, who purportedly works at a beverage company in Singapore, and no one else.

MOM said that it engaged Mr Shahruddin on Nov 23 and 27 to get information "so that we can provide the necessary assistance to these workers".

"However, he was unable to provide information such as specific names and contact details of the homeless Malaysian workers he claimed to have encountered," MOM said.

"He admitted that he never spoke directly to any of these workers and cannot confirm if they were indeed homeless.

"He did not know of any Malaysian worker who does not have a place to stay and also stated that he did not tell the reporter from NST that 'over 100 Malaysians there had become homeless'.”

TODAY has sent queries to NST.

MOM said that a task force comprising its officers and those from other agencies visited various locations islandwide late into the night on Nov 26, "including the places listed by Mr Shahruddin".

"However, we did not find any work pass holders sleeping in the streets." 

The ministry also said that it rendered assistance to people found sleeping in the open, including work pass holders.

"MOM has also established links with various non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to refer any work pass holders found sleeping rough. In the past few months, MOM has not received any referrals from the NGOs."

Related topics

homeless Malaysia lockdown Covid-19 coronavirus

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