KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 22 — Official data showed that 15,666 Malaysians have lost their jobs across the Causeway between January and July 2020, as the Covid-19 pandemic hit the labour market.
The Malaysian Reserve reported Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri M. Saravanan telling the Dewan Negara yesterday that most of those hit were in the service sector.
“Statistics by the Malaysian High Commission in Singapore indicated that Malaysian workers in the service sector were the worst hit, affecting 11,123 people followed by the manufacturing sector with 3,604 workers and construction with 939 workers,” he was quoted saying.
Saravanan was responding to Senator Liew Chin Tong, who asked for data on those who lost their jobs due to the pandemic.
The minister, however, said that the abovementioned figure did not include those who have not returned to Singapore since the movement control order (MCO) took effect on March 18.
Since then, Malaysia and Singapore have closed their borders to each other.
Last month, Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba was reported saying his ministry was looking into fully reopening the Malaysia-Singapore border for daily commute, following pressure from the public, whose livelihoods have been affected by the border closing.
On July 26, Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein and his Singaporean counterpart Vivian Balakrishnan met midway at the Johor Causeway and agreed to resume in August cross-border travel.
The measures included the Reciprocal Green Lane, which allows cross-border travel for essential business and official purposes, while the Periodic Commuting Arrangement enables Singapore and Malaysia residents, who hold long-term immigration passes for business and work purposes in the other country, to enter that country for work.