Intern Roy Lim was with TWC2 from late April to early June 2018. Among his tasks were to complete a research project, a smallish one in view of the limited time and that fact that it had to be done single-handedly. The attached paper is his report.

In his paper, he found that Bangladeshi workers came to choose Singapore over other destination possibilities through very imperfect information. They also seem to make little effort of their own to obtain more information or a second opinion. In addition, the network effect — of friends or relatives already working in Singapore — is a major factor in choosing Singapore over other destinations.

His interviewees tended to articulate two common reasons for coming here to work: the prospect of higher salaries than could be obtained in other destinations; and Singapore as a haven of safety and lawfulness. Why the latter features so prominently in their responses calls for further investigation — it may have to do with daily concerns of security in their own home country.

Roy also discovered that there are far more payments made during the journey to working here than simply the recruiter’s fees. He makes the insightful point that the act of work migration by an individual worker actually supports a far wider circle of people back in Bangladesh than simply the worker’s family.

Roy Lim’s paper (7 pages, pdf) can be downloaded by clicking the link at right.