OPINION: Acting Manpower Minister Tan Chuan-Jin should be ashamed of his lazy ministry

Yawningbread.wordpress.com, 15 Dec 2012
Tan Chuan-Jin should be ashamed. While the men’s grievances were rooted in the company’s behaviour, the immediate trigger for their protest action was the MOM’s own unhelpful attitude. But of course, the government would love us to see the workers as the hooligans, and not point fingers at the ministry.
Interestingly, I’m not the only one who noted the inbuilt laziness of the MOM. In a comment below the Tan Chuan-Jin’s Facebook post saying the same thing about the workers “agreeing to return with proof”, Facebook reader Jake Tan wrote:
In colonial times, there was the Chinese Protectorate to look after the rights of migrant workers from China. If MOM’s role is just to wait for documents, is our protection of migrant workers worse than colonial times?
Readers might also have noticed that Tan Chuan-Jin said in his Facebook post that “MOM requires documentation from workers in order to substantiate their claims”, but he seems ignorant of the power imbalance between low-wage (especially migrant) workers, and employers. As mentioned above, it is the companies that have the documents, why ask workers for them? Isn’t it the MOM officer’s job to investigate, asking the employer for documents if need be? Why penalise workers for not having them? Full story
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