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....

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...

Employer of ‘release’ workers sentenced to jail with caning

For the first time, a company director will be caned for offences under the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act. Goh Eng Kiat, 33, was found guilty of fraudulently obtaining work passes for 30 foreign workers as construction labour. It was fraudulent because the company, Jasper Contractors, did not require them and did not have work...

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...

Employer charged for taking money from workers

In a press statement, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) reported that Chen Quan, director of Hong Lu Engineering Pte Ltd has been charged for kickback offences. Chen, 35, who is also managing director of Trusty Aluminium Pte Ltd, is accused of collecting more than $64,000 from 21 foreign workers, as a condition for their employment. He...

442 charges against two Singaporeans for taking money for non-existent jobs

“Terry Tan-Soo I-Hse, 39, and Clarence Lim Jun Yao, 30, face a total of 442 charges for operating and using three sham companies to collect fees from more than 300 foreign job seekers for jobs that did not exist,” said the Straits Times in a report 20 October 2017. The “sham employment businesses that fraudulently...

Seven Myanmar nationals jailed a year each for rioting

Seven Myanmar nationals were sentenced on 13 October 2017 to twelve months’ imprisonment for rioting. They had got into a fight with three other Burmese around 10:35pm on 4 June 2017. This was reported in Yahoo news. Apparently the fight — though the news story’s description suggests it was more of an attack — was over...

Going cashless? Over half of work permit holders don’t have bank accounts

  In early August 2017, it was reported in various media that public transport will be going cashless by 2020. By 2020, commuters travelling on Singapore’s transport system will no longer need to use cash or top up stored-value cards to pay for rides, said the Land Transport Authority (LTA) and TransitLink in a joint...

The New Paper: Jobless and unpaid, foreign workers face daunting fate

The difficulties faced by foreign workers in Singapore seeking alternative jobs — even when permitted to do so by the Ministry of Manpower — were highlighted in a story in The New Paper 24 March 2017. The focus was on the men from HBB Engineering and related company C-Plus Engineering, featured in our post MOM...

Harri boss finally sent to jail for salary and housing abuses

In an encouraging development, the prosecutor in a recent case made the argument that using the threat of dismissal and repatriation to compel foreign workers to accept lower wages would constitute an offence. According to a news story in Today newspaper, Nallusamy Narayanan, the boss of a number of companies under the Harri name, had...