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Bangladeshi worker says “slowly slowly I love Singapore more and more…” and shares some advice

By April 28, 2020Current

TL;DR – Singaporean woman was moved to tears when she heard him.

You might have seen a certain Facebook post being shared around in the past two weeks.

It’s from Sozal Mirza, a Bangladeshi working and living in Singapore. In his Facebook post, he had expressed his gratitude towards the Singapore government for taking care of the migrant workers during the coronavirus outbreak. The post went viral with over 1,700 shares. Mothership.sg’s coverage of Sozal’s post also went far with 1,300 shares.

Here’s what Sozal had posted in case you cannot see the post,

I on behalf of all Bangladeshi Migrant workers in Singapore wants to thank the entire singapore gov. Police, MOM, MOH, every security, every cleaner, every food supplier. For handling this situation very efficiently. Frankly i’m felling so graceful to Singapore gov. They providing us food, daily needs items, mask, sanitizer, free wifi/sim card for our time spend in room.
Medical camp in every dormitory.
Frankly talking if i’m in Bangladesh also i may not get this essential items In this critical situation….
And i appreciate that the singapore gov use to care, think, well wish about our family back in our country….
Absolute sallute from my heart for Singapore gov.

And i’m today promising here in publicly if i got a chance any times to do something for Singapore i will do it in any cost. Cause they are doing best for me… I will also do the best for them….
Thanks everyone related to care us.

Now what you might have missed is this precious little video that a new-ish Facebook page WYAT has done with Sozal.

The good people at WYAT started this little video project last month (March 6, to be exact) with the premise that there’s something to learn from everyone. So they aim to put up a video everyday where they speak with different people about different issues. The last question they will ask of all their interviewees is this, What’s Your Advice Today?

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Yeps, that’s how the name WYAT came about.

Anyway, WYAT interviewed Sozal after seeing his post and they uploaded the video on Saturday. Yvonne from WYAT was fronting the camera for this episode and what Sozal shared at one point was so touching that it made her tear!

 

Here’s their exchange (edited lightly to make a smoother read):

Yvonne: Can you share with us your story?

Sozal: I’m Sozal. Actually I come from Bangladesh. I belong to poor family in Bangladesh, and you may know that unemployment is a huge problem in Bangladesh, so I came to Singapore in order to get more income and change the lives for me and for my family. I’ve my parents and I’ve one brother.

I’m now working in construction sector. Actually so far for how long I stay in Singapore, slowly slowly I love Singapore more and more. I love Singapore so much right now. The lifestyle, the law enforcement, rules and regulation, clinic and everything, until now I love Singapore. 

Yvonne: Ohhhh…. thank you! Could I also understand what made you write that touching post on Facebook? 

Sozal: Because I think the Government of Singapore, they’ve done really a good job for all the migrant workers. Like how they’ve supplied everything for us to survive in the dormitory. And also the Government of Singapore not only can help me, they also care for our family back in our country. Mr Prime Minister also told us we will be paid our salaries. How touching, actually they’re taking care of us in Singapore. 

It touched my heart so I wanted to express my thanks to them, so I posted in Facebook. 

Yvonne: Now you’ve touched me as well, I feel like crying…. Thank you! We’d like to thank you, on behalf of Singaporeans, for your contributions. And before we go, can we just ask what’s your advice today for all of us here?

Sozal: I want to send a message to the audience and the viewers of this video. The Singapore Government, in this situation, has displayed humanity and that should be our motivation. Together, we will be stronger than anything, and we should keep this respect for humanity in our hearts and try the best for the person in need. If we can do anything, we should do all these for them. We should leave no one behind. 

All united, we will go far!

The current situation with the foreign worker clusters

Many of us watch with very keen eyes the numbers released by MOH every day, and we still have the same message for everyone.

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The number of infected cases is a function of the number of tests carried out. The more we test, the more cases we’re gonna find. This is a very very very infectious virus. If you don’t want to see high number of infected cases, then we just don’t test. But hey, that’s a little like an ostrich burying its head into the sand, right?

What’s more important to watch are whether these infected patients eventually recover. This means we should be watching the number of deaths and the number of people in ICU.

And yes, the number of people recovered and discharged, but this number seems to be slower in coming. I’m gonna hazard a guess that it’s also because we don’t release people until they’ve tested negative twice in a row. Since this is so highly infectious, the last thing we want to do is to release someone who is still carrying the virus back into our communities and trigger more cases.

The real test of how a country fares in managing a pandemic is less about the number of infected cases, but more about how many lives are saved.

The verdict’s still out there, since I’m not even certain we’re already midway through the pandemic.

 

Meanwhile, ramping up testing capacity and testing essential workers

So while we’re still seeing high numbers of infected cases, especially from the foreign worker clusters, we should bear in mind that the foreign workers are mostly people like Sozal, quite young and quite fit. Most of them have mild symptoms and may not even feel that ill despite testing positive. So they will, most likely, recover.

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And our Government has pledged to take care of them and help them recover.

Other than foreign workers, targeted testing is also being implemented for selected groups, such as essential workers and staff of institutions such as nursing homes, who come into close contact with the vulnerable elderly. I suppose this means that we might see a rise in the number of local infected cases in the coming couple of weeks.

Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong, who is also the co-chair of the COVID-19 ministerial task force, shared yesterday that  Singapore has been ramping up our testing capacity. We’re now testing more than 8,000 people a day, up from 2,900 a day previously. In fact, I’ve read that they’re working on being able to test some 40,000 people a day come end June, woohoo!

Minister Wong pointed out that the capability to build up more testing capacity is critical as Singapore seeks to eventually resume and restart its economy. He added,

“But an important point to note is that testing, while as critical and important as it is, cannot be a substitute for personal responsibility and safe distancing measures.”

“So, we go back to the fundamentals and ask everyone, during this period, to stay home, uphold good personal hygiene.”

 

 

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Maggie O

Author Maggie O

Digital extrovert. Social introvert (warning: 93% introverted!) In the day, I work at the labour movement to put cai-png on the table and ice-cream in the fridge. In the night, I read a lot and write a little. Also, all views expressed in my contribution pieces here are based on my personal opinions, and they do not reflect the ideas, ideologies, or points of view of my employer (past, current and future).

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