This 2-in-1 may well prove the undoing of efforts to flatten the curve

Posted on May 1, 2020


IMG-20191109-WA0061 edLate March, Ismail Sabri urged members of the migrant workforce in the country to come forward and be tested for Covid-19, assuring those who were undocumented that they need not fear any reprisals from immigration authorities.

I thought this was a step in the right direction.

Media reports today have it that the immigration authorities, assisted by PDRM, raided areas that are under Enhanced Movement Control Orders and detained large numbers of undocumented migrants.

migrant workers

A resident of Menara City One, that is reported to have been raided earlier today, is quoted as saying that it is believed that those who were detained were going to be deported.

Even if this is not true, the fear of detention and deportation may well have the effect of undocumented foreign workers now not stepping forward to be voluntarily tested.

Today, Singapore confirmed 932 new positive cases of Covid-19. Only 5 of these new cases are Singaporeans or permanent residents.

Over 900 new cases, in just a day, are from the foreign work force.

Is not our immediate priority to get a firm grip on the pandemic, and the huge potential cluster that our foreign work force, almost 20 times the size of Singapore’s, presents if  their numbers continue to be remain largely untested?

If so, today’s action will have the potential effect of sending all undocumented migrants into hiding, keeping away from any and all officialdom, including the health ministry screening teams.

Are the authorities trying to test undocumented workers and nab them at the same time, for deportation?

If so, this attempted 2-in-1 is going to prove to be disastrous.