At TWC2, we ask injured workers about their salary. Why?

  By Liang Lei, based on an interview in October 2017 Running into unexpected trouble overseas is often inconvenient and frustrating – even seasoned travellers among us would readily testify to this. Language barriers, differences in culture and unfamiliarity with foreign administration often confuse us and increase the chances of making mistakes. It must be...

Despite injury, despite longing for home, a need to stay and work abroad

By Jiang Zhi Feng, based on an interview in October 2017 For ten years as a Bangladeshi migrant worker in Singapore, Hossain Awlad has only been back home three times. He misses home. He misses his wife, his mother, and his relatives. The last time he saw them was in 2013. He calls his wife...

Greedy, unlicenced job brokers: one down, many more to go

In a promising development, the Ministry of Manpower has successfully prosecuted a Bangladeshi worker who acted as a job broker and who had pocketed some $30,900 in illicit profit. Roy Tapon Kumar pleaded guilty and was fined $30,000. This was reported in a Channel NewsAsia story (Link) and on  the Ministry of Manpower’s (“MOM”) website....

Injury compensation case goes well, then all fouled up by lawyer and lover

By Janson Chang, based on an interview in September 2017 Remo (not his real name) is one man among many as he sidles forward in the queue to have his meal card stamped.  He doesn’t say much, and is about to head off after receiving the stamp – till a closer look at his Special...

Only 400 survived the fight for new jobs. Out of 100,000?

“As of Oct 2017,” said Lim Swee Say, Minister for Manpower, in a written answer to a parliamentary question, “400 [Work Permit holders have] changed employers after completing their work permit terms.” He gave this reply on 6 November 2017. To assess the significance of this number, it is necessary to provide some background. Over...

After ten years, Asean reaches ‘consensus’ on migrant labour rights

Asean heads of government put signatures to an ‘Asean Consensus on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Migrant Workers’ on 14 November 2017, at their recently concluded summit meeting in Manila. This document was ten years in the making, after Asean members first signalled their intention to arrive at an agreement of this...

MOM gives Ashiqur and Anisur two weeks to find new jobs

By Daryl Loh, based on an interview in October 2017 Ashiqur and Anisur are desperate. Time is running out. The Ministry of Manpower has told them their Special Passes will not be renewed after another two weeks if they cannot find new jobs. But how are they to find new jobs? They have no contacts, and...

Bridging the academic-NGO divide: Making research relevant to migrant workers and their front line supporters.

This is a speech given by Nicholas Harrigan, a member of TWC2’s research subcommittee, at the ‘Health of Migrants and Refugees Workshop’ in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on 10 November 2017. This workshop was hosted by United Nations University – International Institute for Global Health. Attendees and speakers came from across South East Asia and included academics, civil society...

Escaping from ruthless employer, Amzad gets help at every turn

By Chow Shunqi, based on an interview in September 2017 (27 Sept) He stayed as quiet as he could so others would think he was asleep. When it was 3am, he tiptoed out of the room, walked as far as he could with an injured ankle and found a hiding spot among the bushes. There was...

Basic salary stated in IPA is “prima facie” the applicable basic salary, rules the High Court

In a landmark judgment released 1 November 2017, the High Court has ruled that the basic salary stated in the In-Principle Approval for a Work Permit (IPA) “would constitute prima facie evidence” of the correct basic salary rate, unless the employer can prove otherwise. The bar for proving otherwise was also set very high. This...