Unreported work injuries: more than a matter of statistics

By Liang Lei, based on interviews in June 2018 It is common knowledge that timely diagnosis and treatment of injuries go a long way in minimizing pain and speeding up recovery. In Singapore, the Work Injury Compensation Act  (WICA) seeks to enable that, by allowing employees injured at work to file claims for, amongst other...

False hope, hesitant trust and bureaucratic complexities

By Liang Lei, based on an interview in May 2018 Received unexpectedly dismal scores for an assessment? Appeal. Although this “survival tactic” for examinations seems to transcend cultures, the consequences can vary drastically from one situation to another. In the case of a foreign worker’s Permanent Incapacity Compensation score, a hasty decision to appeal may...

Surgery not covered by insurance, says boss. Go back to India instead

By Nicholas Lee based on an interview in May 2018 The crowd at TWC2’s food programme grows as the hour for the breaking of the Ramadan fast approaches. Among the non-Muslims is Paranthaman Arulvendan, registering himself with TWC2 for the first time. But he’s not new to Singapore. Arul has been working here since the...

More frauds committed using ministry letterhead

In October 2017, we carried a story Fraud committed using ministry letterhead [link] about how a worker was misled about the salary he would be getting before he signed on for a job in Singapore. While, as we explained in that article, we did not know who exactly was the culprit, the fact that a scam...

Life and happiness for some, downward spiral for Alam

By Sun Hanchen, based on an interview in March 2018 Money is not important, they say. Chase your own happiness, they say. Live for yourself, for life is meant to be enjoyed. As a middle class, soon-to-be-university educated, Chinese (read: majority) person, I often hear this advice from my more carefree friends – who are,...

MOM accuses us of “inaccurate or false information” — here’s our response

This is TWC2’s response to a statement by the Ministry of Manpower over “inaccurate or false information” in our recent stories. The statement was dated 6 July 2018 and carried on the government’s “Factually” website. From time to time, differences will occur between what TWC2 records workers to be saying in our interviews, and what MOM...

$55 a day and the bright side of things

By Philomène Franssen based on an interview in April 2018 It is quite an unusual story that I got to hear at TWC2’s Cuff Road Project food programme, one Monday evening. Indeed, as a volunteer member of the Communications team, when I sign up to interview one of the migrant workers that TWC2 assists, I...

Mithun’s first 20 minutes with TWC2

By Zhan Nanxin, from an evening in March 2018 Like many other first timers, Sheikh Mohammad Mithun comes to Transient Workers Count Too’s Dayspace in Little India unsure of what to expect, hoping for advice and help. What catches our eye is the large bag of medication in his left hand. That’s quite unusual. He...

Rashadul goes home with only pocket change

Based on an interview in April 2018 Despite giving us a broad smile, Rashadul’s life has changed for the worse. For example, his broken knee means he will never be able to squat again. The best he can do now is to kneel on his one good knee, which at least is good enough to...

When court orders are worthless: the Zach Engineering case

Longform by Gautam Joseph with contribution by Choo Wai Hong  Timeline Dec 2014 Two workers at Zach Engineering summarily dismissed after employer has disagreement with Ministry of Manpower (MOM). Mar – Jun 2015 Two workers rehired by Zach Engineering, three other Bangladeshi workers join. Oct 2015 Fifteen workers paid only food allowance. Indian workers fight...