Migrant worker writes ‘false statements’ on Facebook: MOM

long time migrant worker on facebook posted ‘false remarks’ after his work permit was not renewed

long time migrant worker on facebook posted ‘false remarks’ after his work permit was not renewed

Singapore Singapore – The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) announced on Wednesday that a long-time migrant worker whose work permit was not renewed had made earlier false claims in a Facebook post that might have incited workers at dormitories (Jun 22).

In response to questions from CNA, MOM stated that the Controller of Work Passes had ruled that Zakir Hossain’s work pass, which he has had for 19 years in Singapore, was not eligible for renewal.

He filed an appeal, which the authorities reviewed, but it was rejected. His employer did not make a protest.

According to the Manpower Ministry, Mr. Zakir frequently wrote about migrant laborers while he was living in Singapore.

“Despite his activities and publications, we frequently renewed his work pass. But we cross the line when purposefully inflammatory, inaccurate, or misleading public posts are made,” MOM stated.

WESTLITE TUKANG SITUATION POST FROM 2021

MOM used a Facebook post by Mr. Zakir from October 16 of last year as an illustration, in which he discussed the living circumstances at the Westlite Tukang dormitory.

On October 13, 2021, there was a significant security presence at the dormitory while MOM looked into allegations of violations of COVID-19 health rules, a lack of access to medical care, and subpar provided food.

Koh Poh Koon, a senior minister of state for manpower, later said in Parliament on November 1, 2021 that there had been ‘shortcomings by all sides’ in the events leading up to the incident on October 13.

“Mr. Zakir referred to the migrant workers in Singapore as ‘labor slaves’ and the dorms as ‘work camps’. Additionally, he claimed that Westlite Tukang, a dormitory, had been surrounded by soldiers and armored vehicles,” according to MOM.

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Police officers were on standby near the dormitory as a precaution, according to MOM, which referred to Mr. Zakir’s post as a ‘false portrayal’.

“Never did they surround the dormitory or involve the staff members. Instead, MOM officers and dorm staff talked to the employees about their issues. Soldiers and armored vehicles weren’t even present.”

Even though he has never resided there, Mr. Zakir signed off his post as one of the employees of Westlite Tukang, according to the Manpower Ministry.

Migrant workers at Westlite Tukang and elsewhere may have been enraged by Mr. Zakir’s false comments, which may have led to instances of public unrest. Fortunately, the actual occupants of Westlite Tukang became calm when they realized that MOM, the employer, and the dorm management were genuine about resolving their issues.

In order to protect the welfare of migrant workers during the COVID-19 pandemic, MOM said that it had gone to ‘great efforts’ in conjunction with other government agencies.

“We decreased the risk of transmission among migrant workers, made effective vaccinations available to all of them at the same time as Singaporeans, provided them with thorough and prompt medical assistance, and made sure they were paid even during the Circuit Breaker period when they were unable to work,” MOM added.

Due to the efforts and the participation of migrant workers, the number of COVID-19 deaths among migrant workers living in dorms has been kept low. There were just two deaths in 2020 before vaccines were available and none after.

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