Illegal employer dumps dying worker in back alley

The Straits Times reported from court that Muhammad Hidayat Abdul Rahman, 41, was sentenced to six months in jail for dumping Myo Min Aung, 28, in a back alley, after the latter fell from a height of 11.7m. Myo and another Burmese national Min Aung Myat Min were working illegally for Hidayat. The accident occurred around midnight...

Stop work orders for safety violation: Ensure workers don’t end up paying the price

On 13 May 2016, a report in the Straits Times said that “Companies found lacking in workplace safety and health standards will now face stiffer penalties, including a longer minimum period in which they have to stop work.” “Stop-work orders will now last at least three weeks, up from two previously. Companies slapped with a...

Forced repatriation still taking place

Below are two screenshots of Facebook postings (7 April 2016) by Jolovan Wham, executive director of the Humanitarian Organisation for Migration Economics (HOME). What they clearly show is that the practice of forcibly repatriating migrant workers, sometimes without even paying them their salary, continues to this day. His reference to “walking time bomb” is related to...

PAP member of parliament characterises gatherings of foreign workers as ‘walking time-bombs’

Denise Phua, member of parliament (People’s Action Party, Jalan Besar) became alarmist when speaking in the chamber during the Committee of Supply debate, 6 April 2016. As reported in the Straits Times (7 April edition): This generated much adverse comment on social media. There was quick commentary in The Mothership (Denise Phua had a foot-in-mouth...

Letter to Straits Times: Tweak policies to better help injured foreign workers

In a letter published in the Straits Times 31 March 2016, lawyer Dipa Swminathan (pic at right) put her finger on a process weakness that denies many injured workers of fair outcomes. The case she mentions is not an isolated case. TWC2 quite frequently sees cases that resemble what she describes in her letter. —...

Crime among foreign workers is lower than in general population, Home Affairs minister tells parliament

Minister for Home Affairs K Shanmugam told Parliament on March 2016 that foreign workers commit fewer crimes per capita than the resident Singapore population. Crime incidents within the foreign worker population are lower than that among the general Singapore population, Minister for Home Affairs K. Shanmugam told Parliament on Monday (14 March). “They are here...

Only 50 complaints a year re unauthorised salary deductions. Really?

Extracted from the Hansard (Parliamentary reports), for the record: Parliamentary sitting of 29 February 2016: Mr Chen Show Mao asked the Minister for Manpower (a) how many complaints of unauthorised salary deductions have been registered every year from 2010 to 2015; and (b) in how many of these cases are the complaints found to have...

Statistics on Dependant Passes

Extracted from the Hansard (Parliamentary reports) for the record: Parliamentary sitting of 29 February 2016. Mr Chen Show Mao asked the Minister for Manpower (a) from 2011 to 2015, what is the number of foreigners given Dependant Passes; and (b) what is the number of Dependant Pass holders who are given the Letter of Consent...

MOM takes fewer than 10% of salary-non-payment employers to court

For the record, we place here the relevant part of the Parliamentary minutes from the sitting of Monday, 11 May 2015. Sanctions against employers who withhold wages for foreign employees Mr Hri Kumar Nair asked the Minister for Manpower whether the Ministry will consider stronger sanctions against employers who fail to pay, or wrongfully withhold,...

Qatar makes banked salaries mandatory, pulls ahead of Singapore

Qatar’s new regulations requiring employers to pay migrant workers via bank accounts will take effect in November 2015.  This puts the country ahead of Singapore, where our Ministry of Manpower is not addressing a widespread weakness. Here, employers can choose to pay employees in cash, and it is fairly common for employees to report that whilst...