200,000 foreign workers treated to special Hari Raya lunch: MOM

200,000 foreign workers treated to special Hari Raya lunch: MOM

Minister of State for Manpower Zaqy Mohamad giving out Hari Raya goodies
Minister of State for Manpower Zaqy Mohamad giving out a Hari Raya meal at Woodlands Dormitory. (Photo: Singapore Ministry of Manpower)

SINGAPORE: Two hundred thousand foreign workers living in purpose-built dormitories were treated to a special lunch to celebrate Hari Raya Aidilfitri on Sunday (May 24), said the Ministry of Manpower on Sunday.

The initiative was organised by the Inter-agency Task Force, the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (MUIS) and the Singapore Malay Chamber of Commerce & Industry "to bring festive cheer to our migrant workers", said MOM in a press release.

Workers in 58 locations - including purpose-built dormitories, factory-converted dormitories and construction temporary quarters - were also given Hari Raya cookies.

The cookies were prepared by five central kitchens, with the help of 15 home-based bakers.

hari raya lunch mom
About 200,000 workers living in purpose-built dormitories were treated to a special lunch menu, such as mutton biryani or chicken chop rice. (Photo: Singapore Ministry of Manpower)

hari raya cookies mom
Workers in 58 locations - including purpose-built dormitories, factory-converted dormitories and construction temporary quarters - were also gifted with Hari Raya cookies. (Photo: Singapore Ministry of Manpower)

"In addition to bringing some festive cheer, the initiative also helped support our home-based bakers during this period," said MOM.

The initiative was partially funded by donations from the community through the mosques as well as 16 organisations.

READ: The Big Read - Solving Singapore’s foreign workers problem requires serious soul searching, from top to bottom

Minister of State for Manpower Zaqy Mohamad, who visited Woodlands Dormitory to distribute the special meals and festive cookies, said he was "heartened" to see how the foreign workers in Singapore have "adapted and adjusted to how they can practise their religious duties in a different form" during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Singapore has reported 31,616 COVID-19 cases to date, with the majority linked to migrant worker dormitories. Twenty-three patients have died from complications arising from COVID-19 infection.

READ: Employers must pay foreign workers isolated in dormitories even if work passes are cancelled: MOM

Singapore has been in a "circuit breaker" mode since Apr 7 to stem the spread of the outbreak.

Measures have been taken to control the situation at the dormitories, including extensive testing and limiting foreign workers' movements to within the dormitories.

The foreign workers have had a challanging Ramadan in the dorms over the last month, said MUIS CEO Esa Masood.

"We hope that this brings a little bit of joy to them and an important signal that Singapore did not forget them during this celebration," he added.

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Source: CNA/aj

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