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MOM was prompt and reasonable in assisting foreign workers with their change of employer and salary claims

A TWC2 online article cited the cases of foreign workers Ashiqur and Anisur. It gave the wrong impression that when both workers were on Special Passes, they were given an unreasonably short period of time to find a new job and were not provided basic upkeep and maintenance by their employer. It also alleged that their salary claims took too long to be resolved. These are our clarifications on the article’s inaccuracies:

Claim: MOM gave Ashiqur and Anisur an unreasonably short period of time to find new jobs
Fact: Ashiqur and Anisur were given Special Passes after their work permits were cancelled as they were assisting MOM with investigations into their company SJH Trading. While on Special Passes, both workers were allowed a change of employer in August 2017. At the time when TWC2’s article was published in November 2017, they had already been given over three months to find new jobs, and not two weeks as the article had alleged.

A fact not mentioned by TWC2 was that MOM had already issued a work permit to Ashiqur on 6 November 2017 before the article was published. His earlier applications for a work permit were rejected as his new employer did not submit the required documents for verification. However, Anisur’s application for a work permit was unsuccessful as he did not meet the prevailing approval conditions.

Claim: MOM took three months to resolve both worker’s salary claims
Fact: MOM resolved their salary claims within one month, nearly three months before TWC2 published the article. Ashiqur made his claim on 7 August 2017, and received his payment just over a week later on 17 August 2017. Anisur made his claim on 14 August 2017, and received his payment three weeks later on 6 September 2017.

Claim: Ashique and Anisur were not given basic necessities from their employer while they were on Special Passes
Fact: Both workers had informed NGO workers at the Migrant Workers Centre that their employer was providing them with accommodation and food, and did not voice any upkeep and maintenance issues despite opportunities to do so. MWC was also helping them with transport expenses.

TWC2 has yet again published another article that contains untruths and one-sided accounts that do not tell the whole story of how the foreign workers were assisted. The reality is that the situation is not what they had painted. This is not truthful advocacy and we urge TWC2 to play a more constructive role in helping foreign workers.

Help is available for foreign workers in distress

Foreign workers with salary or well-being issues can contact MOM for help at +65 6438 5122, or, the Migrant Workers’ Centre at +65 6536 2692, or their respective embassies/high commissions.

Members of the public who have any information on foreign workers who need help or on errant employers should report them to MOM at the contact details above. All information will be kept strictly confidential.