Lim Seong Ong, director of Asia Link Marine Industries, was sentenced to eight weeks’ imprisonment for inflating the number of local employees he had, in order to secure a larger number of work permits for foreign workers. The number of foreign workers a company can hire is linked to the number of local employees it has on its payroll.

The Straits Times reported on December 14, 2011, that investigations revealed the company had paid $200 per month as Central Provident Fund contributions for each of seven local “employees’ who were not actively working for him, and that Lim made a false declaration when applying for work permits.

It was also reported that Asia Link Marine faced ten charges under the Employment Act of failing to pay salary and overtime payments due to its employees, and was fined $8,000 for these offences. It did not say whether Lim was also personally charged for these violations.

The newspaper quoted Mr Aw Kum Cheong, divisional director of the Manpower Ministry’s Foreign Manpower Management Division, as saying that the ministry will  take action against employers such as Asia Link Marine which fail to comply with the provisions on salary payment, working hours and other employment conditions stipulated in the Employment Act.