Cheating agents and sleeping agencies

By Jean Law Debesh* is going back to Bangladesh after a mere four months working in Singapore. He is leaving much poorer than if he had not come at all.  This is because his money was taken from him in an illegal transaction that was not brought to justice. He tried to get the police...

Worker can’t get surgery; everything’s a bureaucratic mess

By Namgay Choden Hasan Mohammad Suman’s left thumb was injured December 2016 when it was jammed between steel bars at his worksite. It is late February now as I speak with him. He is scheduled to have surgery tomorrow at Ng Teng Fong Hospital in Jurong East. However, for the surgery to go ahead, he has to present...

From a complicated injury case, a simple truth

By Long Yiou As a rookie interviewer, I feel that Hossain Mohammad Alamgir’s injury case is far more complicated than the storyline of the movie Inception. Though he has only been in Singapore for two years — he came in August 2014 — Hossain has had two injury disputes with three different companies. The interview hits...

When a case is “resolved”, what does that mean?

By Sean Yee In Parliament on 6 February 2017, Manpower minister Lim Swee Say said, “MOM received about 9,000 salary-related claims involving some 4,500 employers in 2016. So, 9,000 claims; 4,500 employers. Through mediation by MOM and adjudication by the Labour Court, we have been able to resolve more than 95% of these claims.” This...

Construction worker says he was asked to repair taxi gearbox

Singapore is so short of labour that a well-known taxi company has been relying on construction workers to run its vehicle workshops. They are asked to clean the taxis, but also “do gearbox repair,” says Uddin Jashim, 31, a former worker there. Your writer asks him, with some concern, “Do you know how to repair...

“My medicine all throw away,” says Miah Zilu

By Andy Lee It  was just another ordinary day in January 2017 for Miah Zilu, working in a shipyard, when he fell down the ladder with a 16kg load. He was immediately sent to Ng Teng Fong General Hospital. At the hospital, the doctor curiously asked why he still had not booked an MRI scan. The...

Boss charged Mahidul $2,000 for job; cancels work permit over faulty van

Text by Cheow Yong Jian, video by Jonathan Ang It is only 7pm, and our team of volunteers at TWC2’s free meals station have already seen a long list of registrations from the many migrant workers in the area coming to seek help. At just 26 years old, Islam Mahidul is one such worker. He appears...

MOM makes about-turn after saying it can’t much help HBB workers

The Straits Times reporter met with the men on Thursday 2 March 2017. We thought the story would be out around the weekend, but the newspaper didn’t have enough space. Parliament was sitting and debating the budget; space in the Home section was at a premium. The story was the kind that we at Transient...

“Money coming”, but no one told Hossain

Text by Jean Law, video by Jonathan Ang Hossain Monir believes that compensation for his permanent injury was paid out three months ago, but not to him. He is mistaken, but he is not totally wrong either. Indeed, a compensation sum had been offered to him, but he wasn’t informed. His case shows how difficult it...

Give.asia and the Straits Times snatch two men from the jaws of penury

Islam Rafiqul and Sujan Ahmed were downcast when they first approached TWC2 for help. But by the time they went back to Bangladesh, their faith in Singaporeans was fully restored, thanks to the Straits Times and Give.asia — a crowdfunding platform for people in need. In Rafiqul’s case, he had won a Labour Court case,...