I am a taxi driver and a former convict.
A few months ago, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) sent me a letter informing me that as I was once found guilty in court, I needed a conduct testimonial from my current employer to decide whether I can be allowed to continue in my job.
My current taxi company, SMRT, told me it did not have a policy of writing conduct testimonials for its drivers. LTA then told me to get one from the Singapore Prison Service (SPS) as an alternative.
The SPS officer who answered my call said the prison will be able to write a conduct testimonial and told me to go to the prison to collect it.
But all I received was a document stating the start and end dates of my imprisonment.
There was no mention of my conduct in prison.
When I told the officer that the document did not fulfil my needs, I was referred to a second officer, who informed me that SPS did not write conduct testimonials for prisoners.
I told LTA of my difficulty in getting a testimonial, but it replied that SMRT and SPS did indeed write conduct testimonials.
This is my plea to employers: Give us ex-convicts a chance. We may have made mistakes in the past, but we have paid the price in prison.
Goh Kok Gan
This article was first published on June 25, 2014.
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