Remembering Those Who Labour On Labour Day
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong started his May Day message this year by referencing a particularly poignant story of a migrant worker who is a COVID-19 patient at Sengkang General Hospital, and a resident of the S11 dormitory in Punggol, Singapore's largest COVID-19 cluster.
"One worker who was hospitalised told his doctor that he had laid the tiles in the ward he was staying in. The Sengkang Hospital medical team were moved. They were happy to be able to give back directly to the workers." he said.
Indeed, these are challenging times, especially so for our friends working tirelessly on the front lines, and those performing essential services (cleaners, rubbish collectors, public transport workers etc).
So as most of us enjoy the long weekend, let us keep in mind those who continue to labour on Labour Day in order to keep us safe, and keep our country going.
Here's a post from Tan Tock Seck Hospital showing how hospital staff help Muslim migrant worker patients observe Ramadan with the help of care packages and goodwill donations from the community:
It is 4.47pm and Jabber Mohd Abdul recites the Asar – the late afternoon prayer. Later, he thumbs through his phone and...Posted by Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH) on Thursday, 30 April 2020
Chinnappa Sathiyamoorthi with Adeline Mah, Senior Staff NursePosted by Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH) on Thursday, 30 April 2020
Also remember our public transport workers for continuing to serve commuters. One masked worker says in the video below: "We continiue to smile even though it's harder to show it now. But that just means we'll try even harder to help, to keep you safe, to serve. Day or night. We are here for you."
Labour Day Video 2020
We salute all public transport workers for continuing to serve our commuters during these challenging times. Wishing everyone a Happy Labour Day! Posted by SMRT on Thursday, 30 April 2020
Don't forget our brothers defending the nation, too: SAF Medical Corps Regulars, Full-time National Servicemen and NSmen who have been deployed at the Community Care Facility at Singapore EXPO & MAX Atria:
Minister Visits SAF Medical Corps Deployed at Singapore Expo Community Care Facility
More than 100 personnel comprising Regulars, Full-time National Servicemen and NSmen from the SAF Medical Corps are deployed at the Community Care Facility at Singapore EXPO & MAX Atria. Over the last few days, they have supported the Ministry of Health, Singapore in providing primary healthcare services for recovering COVID-19 patients as well as those with mild symptoms who do not require significant medical care. Earlier today, Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen visited the personnel deployed there and thanked them for supporting Singapore’s efforts against #COVID19. #SGUnited #SingaporeTogether #SeekSaveServePosted by Ministry of Defence, Singapore (MINDEF) on Thursday, 30 April 2020
Some have heeded the Labour of Love movement initiated by We Are Majulah, a ground-up initiative whose founder (Divian Nair) we spoke to recently. It's simple: fly the Singapore flag today or, if you don't have one, post a picture of one with the hashtags #homebutnotalonesg and #stayhomeforsg - not only to add "a little colour to our city", as Divian says in an Instagram post, but "also as a way to show our migrant worker friends and essential workers that we will not turn a blind eye to their struggles".
Local entertainment outfit, Music & Drama Company (many of us who served NS will know that they used to be an army unit called SAF MDC) have also released a music video of an original song entitled "Hold On" written by local singer-songrwriter Dominic Chin, to show their appreciation for frontline, healthcare and migrant workers this Labour Day:
"Hold On" - Labour Day 2020 by Music & Drama Company (English Version)
This Labour Day, Music & Drama Company wants to dedicate this song to all our essential workers who keep the economy going during this difficult period. And also to a special group that we often forget - the migrant workers. Thank you for your hard work and sacrifices! “Hold On, Stay Strong We will face it day by day, we are with YOU all the way” #SGunited #musicanddramacompany #circuitbreakerPosted by Music & Drama Company on Thursday, 30 April 2020
Continute to hold on, stay strong. Stay safe and take care, and have a happy Labour Day!
If you'd like to support our migrant community but don't know how or where to go to, read our piece "You've Got A Friend In Me - How To Help Migrant Workers".