Rafa and the line between white and black

By Isaac Ong, based on an interview in November 2017 “This is my wrong but I don’t want pay [you] money. Even if I go jail, [even if] I no company, but I still don’t want pay money”, Rafa (not his real name) was told by his boss. 49-year-old Rafa is practically a veteran of...

MOM wrong to accuse us of ‘inaccurate’ and ‘untrue’ account

On 5 December 2017, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) put up a note on their Facebook page accusing TWC2 of publishing an “inaccurate” account. This was in relation to the story we had posted on 12 October 2017 titled “Fraud committed using ministry letterhead“. We stand by our story. We consider MOM’s accusation against us...

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...

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...

TWC2’s top three recommendations

In late June 2017, Channel NewsAsia asked Transient Workers Count Too for a commentary article with the suggested theme of “whether we think migrant workers are an integral part of Singapore society, following reports of how many have to head back given the slowing economy.” The article we submitted (in early July) is below. After we...

Straits Times: Help migrant workers stand up for their own safety

The commentary below was published in the Straits Times, 25 October 2017. John Gee For The Straits Times They form majority of workers in workplaces with high accident rates and deserve more targeted help measures Singapore has set itself the target of significantly reducing its workplace accident rate. The fatality rate alone last year was 1.9...

As Singapore goes cashless, dismantle structural barriers faced by foreign workers

In his National Day Rally speech on 20 August 2017, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong spoke about the need for greater efforts in migrating to cashless transactions. Subsequently, other ministers developed the point further. Transient Workers Count Too felt that it was important to ensure that whatever plans are drawn up, they should not inadvertently...

TWC2 joins two shadow reports on CEDAW

Transient Workers Count Too joined with 12 other NGOs in Singapore to submit a joint shadow report to the United Nations Committee on Cedaw (Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women) for the upcoming periodic review of Singapore. The joint report highlights a number of issues pertaining to foreign domestic workers...

HOME and TWC2 submit joint report on the exploitation of migrant domestic workers

The Humanitarian Organisation for Migration Economics (HOME) and Transient Workers Count Too (TWC2) have submitted a shadow report to the United Nations CEDAW (Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women) Committee. Singapore acceded to CEDAW in 1995. Countries who are party to CEDAW commit themselves to developing policies and regulatory frameworks...

Harri men go home, not everything resolved

On 23 June 2017, we put up a post on Facebook that said: This is Jafar Ahmmad. He came in 2014 to work for Harri Engineering. His boss, Nallusamy Narayanan accused him and other workers of taking their pay and not showing up for work. As it turns out, his boss was later jailed for...