In this short video, construction worker Md Asadullah Late Md Hasan Uddin speaks to his fellow countrymen in Bengali, advising them to be extra careful when seeking jobs in Singapore. The video was made in December 2011 when Asadullah was repeatedly abducted by repatriation agents who packed him off to the airport for deportation without his employer settling his unpaid salaries.
Here is an English translation, courtesy of AKM Mohsin:
My name is Mohamed Asadullah and I worked for a company called Lian Shing Construction Private Limited
The company was supposed to pay us $700 basic monthly salary, with 3 hours of overtime, (to be calculated) based on basic salary.
There are 130 workers from Bangladesh working for this company, and they are in a similar situation as I am. We work very hard and adhere to company rules but in return we don’t get paid regularly.
We went to the Bangladeshi High Commission, who wrote one letter to the Ministry of Manpower, but did nothing else.
Each time we asked our employer for our salaries, he threatened to send us back to Bangladesh with the help of repatriation agents. There were many different kinds of threats and we cannot continue with this company.
We paid a lot of money to obtain this employment. Some workers have been here only 3 months, others 6 months. If we are to be sent back home, we will lose everything. We are very uncertain about our future. If the company repatriates us, there is nothing to do in Bangladesh; we are very poor.
My appeal to everybody is that, in future, if anyone wants to come (to Singapore to work), find out the the condition of the company, the salary, etc. Everything must be clear before coming.
For an account of Asadullah’s experience, see the next story, Twice abducted by repatriation agents, Asadullah goes home poorer than when he arrived