Barred from returning home, upset worker threatens to jump from 4th storey of dormitory

A video taken at the scene circulating online shows the man standing on a parapet on the highest level of the dormitory.
PHOTO: Shin Min Daily News

A migrant worker went up to the fourth storey of his dormitory and threatened to jump when told he could not fly home to China.

The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said in a Facebook post yesterday it was aware of the incident which happened on Wednesday at the PPT Lodge 1B dormitory, also known as the S11 Dormitory @ Punggol.

Officers on site from the forward assurance and support team, or Fast team - made up of personnel from MOM, Singapore Armed Forces and Singapore Police Force - managed to calm the worker down and get him to safety before contacting his employer, MOM said.

A video taken at the scene circulating online shows the man standing on a parapet on the highest level of the dormitory.

Many other migrant workers had gathered outside the dormitory, shouting at the man to get off the parapet.

MOM said investigations revealed the worker had purchased a flight ticket on his own, and became agitated when he could not get the green light from his employer to return home.

In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, the man was staying in a block that had been cleared on July 4, and he could have talked to his employer if he wanted to leave.

"However, both parties did not discuss this, leading to a dispute,"MOM said.

"The employer was advised to facilitate the worker's return and complied. The worker will leave Singapore today," MOM added in its Facebook post yesterday.

Chinese-language newspaper Shin Min Daily News reported that the commotion lasted about an hour.

A co-worker, who wanted to be known only as Mr Tan, told Shin Min the man, a construction worker, was unable to retrieve his passport.

Other migrant workers told Shin Min they would have to pay for a flight ticket and sign a letter before returning to their home country.

The ministry advised all workers involved in employment disputes to contact the Migrant Workers' Centre's 24-hour helpline at 6536 2692, or to reach out to MOM via its online feedback form (www.mom.gov.sg/efeedback) should they require help.


HelplinesĀ 

Samaritans of Singapore: 1800-221-4444

Singapore Association for Mental Health: 1800-283-7019

Institute of Mental Health's Mental Health Helpline: 6389-2222

Care Corner Counselling Centre (Mandarin): 1800-353-5800

Shan You Counselling Centre (Mandarin): 6741-0078

Silver Ribbon: 6386-1928

Fei Yue's Online Counselling Service: www.eC2.sg

Tinkle Friend (for primary school children): 1800-2744-788

This article was first published in The New Paper. Permission required for reproduction.