Yawningbread.wordpress.com, 24 Mar 2014
A divisional director from the Manpower ministry gave testimony last week at the Committee of Inquiry looking into the Little India riot. Based on a report in the Straits Times, his statements more than support a view that I have long held: there is a strong tendency in this government to confuse theory with practice. There is unwarranted faith in policy papers penned in cloisters. Either there is naive ignorance of the shameful reality out there, or a resistance to unearth empirical facts, or both.
There are four arguments made by Kevin Teoh, divisional director of the Ministry of Manpower’s (MOM’s) foreign manpower management division, which are egregiously off the mark. They show beliefs that are detached from reality.
1. There are no abandoned foreign workers;
2. Out-of-work foreign workers can seek alternative employment (subject to permission);
3. MOM has ensured that foreign workers all know their rights;
4. Untrue that workers are forcibly repatriated.