Muslim migrant workers receive pre-dawn meals before Ramadan fast

As Muslims across Singapore yesterday had their first sahur, or pre-dawn meal, before beginning the fast during the month of Ramadan, Senior Minister of State for Manpower and Defence Zaqy Mohamad and a number of volunteers were at the Quick Build Dormitory in Choa Chu Kang Grove.

There, they handed out more than 800 meals - which included chapati (unleavened flatbread), dhal (lentil curry) and dessert, as well as fruit and milk - to Muslim migrant workers.

Mr Zaqy said in a Facebook post: "It is heartening to see Singaporeans from all walks of life coming together to support our migrant workers in a bid to make this Ramadan even more meaningful for them.

"Many have been away from their families and loved ones for some time due to Covid-19 travel restrictions."

Mr Zaqy had his pre-dawn meal with the Muslim migrant workers and joined them in a morning congregational prayer.

The pre-dawn meal was an initiative of the Ministry of Manpower's (MOM) Assurance, Care and Engagement Group; non-governmental organisation collective Homeforall Migrants; and SDI Academy, which provides skills-based training for migrant workers.

This year, Muslims in Singapore have been able to safely resume Ramadan activities like terawih - evening congregational prayers - and porridge distribution at mosques.

Last week, MOM also announced that dormitories are allowed to hold congregational prayer sessions for up to 200 attendees during Ramadan.

Mr Ullah Sharif, 42, was one of the migrant workers who attended the terawih congregational prayers at Westlite Juniper dormitory in Mandai on Monday night.

The safety supervisor, who is from Bangladesh, said: "Most of us are very happy to have terawih prayers this year as it has been a long time since we could pray as a group." 

This article first appeared in The Straits Times.