Crowds of Singaporeans are gathering at various Ikea outlets to stock-up on what some of them believe to be essential furnitures, leaving confusion and speculation amongst social media users. Similar to other countries, panic-buying ran rampant after the Singaporean government announced last weekend that there will be a month-long closure of non-essential services beginning on the 7th of April to contain the spread of Covid-19, very much similar to Malaysia’s Movement Control Order.
this was the scene outside Ikea SG today. what could the emergency be? meatballs? it’s not like Ikea sells coffins (which this crowd may well need soon).
100am donki+ntuc were like end of the world.
— Edward C. Yong ن (@infernoxv) April 4, 2020
The photos above taken at an Ikea outlet in the Alexandra district on the 4th of April shows a massive twisting line of people trying to get in. One Twitter user speculated that many young couples flooded the furniture warehouse to catch up on furnishing their new homes which they intend to make as comfortable as possible during the shutdown. Some even brought their children along. Another user claimed that people were rushing to obtain desks in preparation to work-from-home.
Ikea Tampines need to queue one hour pic.twitter.com/EP93YzYbxU
— H U I B O (@boboiscrazy) March 28, 2020
The crowds were so overwhelming that Ikea had to make a public announcement urging Singaporeans to refrain from visiting any outlets during peak hours and practice social distancing measures.
Netizens have been condemning and criticising the actions of these Ikea panic-buyers for leaving their homes to buy non-essential goods.
Pamela Lee, an intern for online publication SGAG, made a humorous video in Singlish to diss Singaporeans who ignored their government’s commands of staying at home in this time of crisis (AKA ‘circuit breaker’ period).
Rants about CB (Circuit Breaking) Singaporeans pic.twitter.com/ssFkWToVbG
— SGAG (@SGAG_SG) April 6, 2020
Calvin Cheng, who was formerly nominated as a member of parliament shared his frustrations regarding the Ikea incident, also calling out the people who did not heed the government’s instructions in a Facebook post he made on the 5th of April.
While his words may be a tad bit harsh, he does make a point at the end when he says, “Nothing is more essential than your life.”
To our neighbours down south, stay safe!
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