Tag Archives: Personal and identity documents

passports, training certificates

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  Continue Reading »

“Excuse me, can we talk to you a little bit?”

Photographs by Nguyen Phi Yen, from an evening in April 2018 Every weekday evening, volunteers with Transient Workers Count Too are there on the streets in front of our meal stations. It’s warm and humid, but we’re there because we want to make it easy for foreign workers to approach us if they need help.  Continue Reading »

Grappling with trafficking is like nailing jelly to a wall

Former president of TWC2, John Gee, was a panellist at a human trafficking forum at the National University of Singapore’s Stephen Riady Global Centre on Saturday 27 January 2018. In his talk, titled ‘Nailing jelly to the wall’, he drew attention to how terms and labels can be misconstrued, and responses can vary greatly. For  Continue Reading »

A mookata waiter’s tale

By Liang Lei, based on an interview in July 2017 The raid came. Subbas was on duty that night, and he was arrested. His luck had run out. He would spend a month in jail and, tied to a medieval rack, receive three strokes of the cane, cutting his flesh deeply and bloodily. It would  Continue Reading »

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  Continue Reading »

Hundreds of thousands of foreign workers stuffed into office drawers

By Katia Barthélémy Heading to one of the restaurants in Little India where TWC2 offers free meals to injured and salary-unpaid migrant workers, I am wondering about the kind of life story I will come across tonight. As a fairly new volunteer with TWC2, my limited experience makes me think everything is about physical injuries.  Continue Reading »

Adjusting to bureaucratic Singapore: “All must evidence. One thing wrong also cannot.”

By Kok Rabin Have you ever been annoyed when others spell your name wrongly? What if their mistake could cost you $16,000? Sitting in front of me at Alankar restaurant this hazy evening is Pandurangan Madhurakavi, a tall man with broad shoulders and a broader smile.  37-year-old Kavi (as his friends call him) was in  Continue Reading »

Just passing through

By Kellynn Wee and Marusa Godina The Singapore passport is powerful. According to the international 2014 Visa Restrictions Index, this neat crimson document offers Singaporeans visa-free travel to 167 out of 219 countries in the world, making our passport sixth in the world in terms of global mobility. Singaporeans’ easy trips in and out of  Continue Reading »

Stranded in Batam, agent denies responsibility

By Meera Rajah Yati (not her real name) was promised that she would only have to wait in Batam for a week, before returning to Singapore to work with a new employer. The week became a month, and the month eventually turned into a year.  Her previous employer had “scream[ed] and throw the things then  Continue Reading »

No salary, no day off for 20 months, part 2

By Nissa Mai Continued from Part 1. I have a lot of other questions for Surya [1]. How did such an empowered, decisive young woman get trapped in a clearly illegal and exploitative situation for such long time? Wasn’t her contract for only two years? And if she didn’t receive her salary, why didn’t she  Continue Reading »