The Straits Times’ editorial of Saturday 18 August 2012 spoke up for the amendments to the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act.
Noting that when employers get away with circumventing the rules and thus pay less than the true cost of hiring foreign workers, it is “at the expense of Singaporean job-seekers.” The new laws, it said, would “eliminate this unfair advantage.”
The newspaper pointed out that the biggest victims are foreign workers. Crediting the research done by TWC2 (click here to see the initial report),
Illegal salary deductions and arbitrary fees imposed by employers have become an onerous burden. For example, two-thirds of 100 Bangladeshi workers said, in a recent interview survey by the Transient Workers Count Too group, that they had had to pay their employers “renewal fees” averaging $1,081 to extend their contracts.
— Straits Times, 18 August 2012, Editorial.
Putting out a call that cases of abuse must come to light – which is what we try to do on this website – the Straits Times noted that low-wage workers, “often, with big loans to repay to agents and middlemen at home, they remain silent out of prudence, even in the face of exploitation,” and they need protection to tell on their bosses. The editorial also mentioned the “sterling awareness and outreach programmes” by non-governmental organisations.
You can read the entire leader here.
Related article: TWC2’s statement On the proposed amendments to the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act.