The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) charged a 40-year-old Singaporean man, Sao Wei Loon (Sao), in the State Courts last week for hiring 19 foreigners without valid work permits, to work at pasar malams (night markets) in Singapore last year.
If convicted, Sao Wei Loon will be charged a fine of between $5,000 and $30,000 or up to 12 months’ imprisonment, or both, per charge under Section 5(1) of the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act (EFMA) for each illegally employed foreigner.
Deeper investigations into the matter revealed that Sao hired a total of 19 Indonesian nationals without valid work passes to work illegally as stall assistants at three pasar malams. The illegal employment period ranged from three days to more than three weeks, and the offence was committed between 1 June and 16 September 2016. The case against Sao has been adjourned to 20 June 2017 in Court 23 at 10.30 am.
See: Singapore to continue tightening inflow of work permit holders
In a separate case, a former director and a current director of a logistics company, S K Yap Construction, was convicted on 2 May 2017 for conspiring to hire 10 foreign workers without valid work passes. Each director was fined in total $79,000, and in default 33 weeks’ imprisonment. The offenders were also banned from employing foreign workers.
According to the EFMA, employers are not allowed to hire any foreigner without first obtaining a valid work pass. Employers who flout the law will be fined a maximum of $30,000 or up to 12 months’ imprisonment, or both. They will also be banned from employing foreign workers.
Foreigners working in Singapore must hold a valid work pass, and those working in bazaars or pasar malams are not exempted from this requirement either. MOM conducts inspections from time to time in this regard.
Also read: HOME Calls Upon Ban on Errant Employers Defaulting on Wages of Foreign Workers