Remembering Those Who Labour On Labour Day
STORY: Sim Ding En
01 May 2020
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:
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."
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:
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:
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".