Dear A.S.S. Editor
A Singaporean man, Sao Wei Loon, 40, was fined $72,000 for hiring 19 foreign nationals without valid work permit passes. These illegal workers were hired as stall assistants at three pasar malams – located in Geylang Serai, Tampines and Toa Payoh, between 1 June and 16 September 2016.
Their work arrangements lasted between three days to more than three weeks. However, he was unable to pay the fine, thus Sao will have to serve the default sentence of six months’ imprisonment in lieu of the fine. This case highlights Sao’s willingness to circumvent the law, as he had hired a large number of foreign nationals on social visit passes to work for him, thus ensuring that he saves money for himself.
All foreigners working in Singapore, including those working in bazaars and night markets, must hold valid work passes. Employers who flout the law can be fined a maximum of $30,000 or jailed for up to 12 months, or both. They will also be banned from employing foreign workers.