About: alex

Recent Posts by alex

Crash! Bang! Boss hears windfall from the heavens

Martin* was on his second day at his new job. He was employed as a construction worker, but he had let his boss know that he held a Singapore driving licence. His boss asked him to drive a lorry. Martin hit another car; the lorry suffered scratches. Thankfully, no one was injured. Some days later,  Continue Reading »

A look back at job mobility policies 2011 – 2017

There has been a gradual liberalisation over the last few years allowing construction workers to transfer to new jobs. This paper takes stock of evolving government policy in this area. Transient Workers Count Too has argued for a long time that retaining workers with experience in Singapore will be good for our much-hoped-for improvement in productivity.  Continue Reading »

The man in the ministry’s locked drawer

By Alex, based on an interview in November 2017 “Why are you still in Singapore?” I ask Sarkar Debabrata. He is showing me a Special Pass dated 19 January 2017 — ten months old — which allows him to remain in Singapore until his case at the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) is concluded. Yet, in his  Continue Reading »

Fraud committed using ministry letterhead

Sarowar (not his real name) approaches our help desk hesitantly. Despite being in his mid-thirties, he does not exude much self-confidence. Maybe it’s because he knows his English is weak, and what he has to tell us is fairly complicated. However, it didn’t take us long to grasp the nub of the problem: Someone had  Continue Reading »

Unpaid workers find company funds diverted

A boss was apologetic that he was unable to pay his employees their salaries on time. But what is interesting is the reason why he couldn’t do so: he had to pay foreign worker levies to the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) first. Below are key portions of a transcript of a meeting between the boss (who  Continue Reading »

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