Mustafa Centre Sends Home Foreign Workers, To End S$300 Allowance

COVID-19 has severely affected the Mustafa Center shopping mall.

In April, the mall was identified as a COVID-19 cluster and was forced to close.

Its supermarket section reopened a month later in May, but it has yet to resume regular 24-hour opening hours due to high operating costs and lack of cash.

Beyond the month-long shutdown, Mustafa Center is also reeling from the impact of COVID-19 due to the drop in attendance.

In a letter to his employees dated August 27, 2020, Mustaq Ahmad, managing director and founder of the Mustafa Center, said “business has been seriously affected.”

Mustafa Center letter to employees
Letter to Mustafa Center employees

Due to reduced hours of operation and strict safe distancing measures at the mall, Mustafa Center has not been able to recall all of its employees to work.

We pay a living allowance of $ 300 / – as of June 2020 for employees who have not been called to work. The living allowance will end in September 2020.

… We have made serious efforts to reduce our expenses and maintain ourselves throughout this situation. Despite this, it is necessary for the Company to reduce its salary costs. We will have to remove the living allowance from October 1, 2020.

– Mr. Mustaq Ahmad, Managing Director and Founder of Mustafa Center

He further urged all employees who have not been called back to work to take a second job to earn income.

Mustafa Center is currently working with the Singapore Manual and Mercantile Workers Union, e2i and the NTUC Job Security Council, to help them find employment.

In fact, many of their employees are already finding different job opportunities. To this end, Mustafa Center has waived the notice period and will grant them a base salary of one month as a “token” of appreciation.

In the letter, Mustaq said “it will take longer than expected” for businesses to return to pre-COVID-19 state as international borders remain closed.

Due to the current business situation, Mr. Mustaq said they cannot renew the passes of his foreign workers.

“We will repatriate them with a return home ticket and a month’s basic salary as a pledge.”

“We regret having to resort to these decisions, but hope that business will return to normal as soon as possible,” he added.

Featured Image Credit: Tokio Marine / Kelman Chiang

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Jothi Venkat

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