Ministry of Manpower: Foreign worker captions were not from Mr Teo

A picture of Mr Teo Ser Luck, Mister of State for Manpower lying down on a foreign worker's bed that was upload on MOM's Facebook page. The post attracted widespread criticism.

Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has clarified that the Minister of State for Manpower Teo Ser Luck did not make the comments attributed to him on an MOM Facebook post.

On Dec 11, MOM uploaded a picture to their Facebook page showing Mr Teo lying on a bed in an unnamed dormitory.

Accompanying the picture was the caption: "I learnt that some workers prefer to sleep without a mattress as they are used to it back in their home country."

Some Facebook users thought that the caption was insensitive.

Johnny Tang wrote that he felt the post was both insensitive and condescending.

However, others defended Mr Teo by saying that at least he visited the dormitories to see what life was like inside.

The response the post generated saw it go viral and picked up by foreign media such as the BBC.

However, the quote did not come from Mr Teo.

A ministry spokesperson said that the photo and accompanying caption were put up by the MOM Facebook administrator.

"We regret the unintended implications, and any misunderstanding that the post has caused. To avoid further misrepresentation, we will remove the captions and put up a clarification post on the MOM Facebook page.

"To avoid further misrepresentation, we will remove the captions and put up a clarification post on the MOM Facebook page." (Read the statement in full below.)

The caption was removed at about 8pm on Friday (Dec 18).




The photo is one of eight MOM uploaded to show Mr Teo's visit to a foreign workers' dormitories ahead of International Migrants' Day.

International Migrant's Day is an international day observed annually on Dec 18 to commemorate the sacrifices made by migrants workers all over the world.

The MOM spokesperson said that the visit was to show appreciation for the wellbeing of the worker's who stay at the worker's dormitories.

While MOM did not say which dormitory Mr Teo visited, they hope that the public can refocus their attention to show appreciation to the foreign workers.

"Our work to improve the experiences of foreign workers in Singapore will continue through the joint efforts of the tripartite partners, NGOs and the general public."



“The Facebook post of MOS Teo Ser Luck visiting a dormitory, including the captions, were put up by the MOM Facebook Administrator. MOS Teo did not make those comments. We regret the unintended implications, and any misunderstanding that the post has caused. To avoid further misrepresentation, we will remove the captions and put up a clarification post on the MOM Facebook page. 

Foreign workers have contributed much to the development of Singapore. The visit to the dormitory is to show our appreciation, and our care and concern for their wellbeing from housing to food, and exercise to entertainment in their dormitories.  It is unfortunate it was over shadowed by this turn of events.

As we celebrate International Migrants Day today, and over the weekend, we would like to appeal to the public to refocus our attention on showing appreciation to our foreign workers. Our work to improve the experiences of foreign workers in Singapore will continue through the joint efforts of the tripartite partners, NGOs and the general public.”


Former River Valley High principal lied about affair with vendor

In a file photo, Koh Yong Chiah arrives at the State Courts on July 17, 2014.

A former principal of River Valley High pleaded guilty in court on Friday (Dec 18, 2015) to one count of giving false information to a public servant.

Koh Yong Chiah, now 61, who also used to head Jurong Junior College (JJC) and Chinese High School, admitted in court that he had lied to a Cluster Superintendent of the Ministry of Education, Ms Chia Ban Tin on Nov 24, 2005.

He lied by claiming he did not have a sexual relationship with Ms Loke Wai Lin, now 55, a Director of Education Architects 21.

The company provides education-related services including organising learning journeys. 

It was a service provider to JJC when he committed the offence.

Between 2005 and 2012, the amount awarded for contracts to her companies was $3.2 million.

Ms Loke Wai Lin is divorced. 

Read the full report in our print edition on Dec 19..

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National Day to be held at National Stadium next year

The National Day 2016 will be held at the National Stadium.

The National Day Parade 2016 (NDP 2016) is set to be held at the National Stadium in the Sports Hub.

This was announced on the Facebook page of the organising committee on Friday (Dec 18).



Dear all,Preparations to make next year's NDP a memorable one are going well. I am thrilled to share with you that...

Posted by NDPeeps on Thursday, December 17, 2015


The announcement comes after reports earlier this month that talks between the organisers of the parade and the Singapore Sports Hub to secure the venue had stalled. 

The Straits Times reported then that one of the stumbling blocks was the $26 million that the organiser would have to pay to lease the the 55,000 seater venue.

Teens go on knife attack because of smile and stare

Two teens went on two knife attacks in a single day that left a 21-year-old man and a 16-year-old injured. Yesterday, they were convicted in separate courts

Two attackers slashed two victims in separate knife attacks on Sept 14, for no apparent reason.

Muhammad Taufiq Mohamad Raffi, 18, and Sivaraj Manickam, 19, had together targeted a man, 21, and a 16-year-old for contrasting "reasons".

They assaulted the younger victim, Muhammad Nasrun Isa, for smiling at them.

Mr Chen Cheng Junwas attacked because the pair thought that Mr Chen and his group of eight had been staring at them.

Both men were found guilty yesterday of voluntarily causing hurt and voluntarily causing grievous hurt.

The perceived staring incident had occurred after midnight when Mr Chen and his friends were smoking outside a McDonald's outlet in Hougang Avenue 8.

There had been no confrontation between the two parties, yet the duo decided to head to Sivaraj's home to get a kitchen knife and a sheathed baton knife.

With the knives tucked into their trousers, the two teens returned at about 2.30am. By then, most of Mr Chen's friends had left the outlet.

Taufiq and Sivaraj tailed Mr Chen and two friends as they left the fast-food restaurant. At Hougang Avenue 8, the pair sprang.

Mr Chen suffered the most.

Sivaraj hit him on the head and face with the sheathed baton knife.

Taufiq slashed him on the left arm when he tried to block the knife swings. Fortunately, all three victims managed to escape.

Mr Chen suffered three lacerations, a fracture on his left forearm and muscle damage to the arm.

In the afternoon of the same day, Taufiq and Sivaraj hatched a plan to commit a robbery.

They bought watermelon knives from a shop in Serangoon Avenue 3.

At about 5pm, while prowling for a victim near Yio Chu Kang Road, the pair saw Nasrunwalking towards them.

The 16-year-old made the mistake of smiling at the two. Both men were unhappy with his expression and the manner in which he walked, court papers revealed. They confronted Nasrun, but let him go.

Later, they decided to attack the teen as he was walking towards a bus stop. They kicked him on the back and slashed him on the head and body with watermelon knives.

The assault stopped only when a passing bus honked at them and the duo fled. Sivaraj kept his watermelon knife, while Taufiq got rid of this.

Nasrun was taken to hospital.

He had an 8cm slash wound on his left shoulder muscle, four lacerations to his lower back and injuries to his right ear and scalp.

He was hospitalised for four days.

A doctor who examined Nasrun said his scarring will be permanent.

The two men will appear in court for sentencing on Jan 7.

Judge says: You did it on your own accord

He said he was sorry for what he had done.

But Sivaraj Manickam had the audacity to tell District Judge Christopher Goh that he did not think a stint at the Reformative Training Centre (RTC) would be suitable for him.

Sivaraj, 19, said he would rather go to prison.

When the judge asked why, Sivaraj said: "I have many friends in RTC. I would easily be manipulated by them... I don't think I want to mix around and go back the same route."

Sivaraj, who is unemployed, appeared to be distancing himself from blame when he said he was easily influenced by his friends and gave easily in to peer pressure.

He admitted the attack on Muhammad Nasrun Isa began as a "robbery but things went wrong".

But Mr Goh was not convinced of Sivaraj's explanation.

Mr Goh said: "These are things that you did on your own accord."

Sivaraj was convicted yesterday of voluntarily causing hurt and voluntarily causing grievous hurt, the same offences that Muhammad Taufiq Mohamad Raffi had committed.

Sivaraj had armed himself with a sheathed baton knife in the attack on Mr Chen Cheng Jun.

While Mr Chen, 21, and his two friends were walking along Hougang Avenue 8, it was Sivaraj who had thrown his drink on the ground to get the victims' attention.

Sivaraj had been the first to strike Mr Chen with the knife. He had also attacked Mr Chen's two friends.

A pre-sentencing report has been ordered.


District Judge Matthew Josephdisplayed concern over the incidents, saying the two completely unprovoked attacks were "very serious".

Yesterday, the judge convicted Muhammad Taufiq Mohamad Raffi of voluntarily causing hurt and voluntarily causing grievous hurt.

A pre-sentencing report was ordered to see if Taufiq, 18, is suitable to be sent to the Reformative Training Centre.

Judge Joseph had agreed with Deputy Public Prosecutor Krystle Chiang's view that there would be "no room for probation in this (Taufiq's) case".

The judge said: "In the past three weeks, this court has heard three separate cases of youthful violence involving knives and serious slashing...

"Is there an upsurge (in violent cases) by youths?"

He was concerned the message has not gone out that the courts take a serious view against senseless acts of violence by youths.

Taufiq, a car washer, had played an equal role in the attacks from planning to execution.

He had taken the kitchen knife from accomplice Sivaraj Manickam's home.

While Sivaraj, 19, hit Mr Chen Cheng Jun with the sheathed baton knife, Taufiq likewise slashed Mr Chen repeatedly with the kitchen knife.

Later, the idea to rob somebody was suggested by Taufiq in a bid to obtain fast cash.

And it was Taufiq who had confronted Muhammad Nasrun Isa by asking the 16-year-old what his problem was.

In court yesterday, Taufiq asked the judge for leniency.

Jail for man who took upskirt videos of women in toilet cubicles

GUILTY: Henry Ng Har Leng was sentenced to eight weeks’ jail.

He had taken upskirt video clips of women in a female toilet at Safra Yishun Country Club and had not been caught.

Emboldened, Henry Ng Har Leng, a service staff at KTV Party World, did it again just after midnight on Feb 12.

This time, he was caught in the act.

The victim, a 24-year-old patron of the KTV, who was inside a cubicle of the first-floor female toilet, noticed Ng's shoes and his mobile phone from under the cubicle door. Ng, 23, was squatting outside the cubicle.

The feisty victim screamed and attempted to chase Ng. She caught a glimpse of him in his work attire as he scrambled out of the toilet.

In desperation, Ng returned to the KTV and deleted footage of the woman.

The woman's boyfriend later questioned the KTV staff, including Ng.


When the police arrived, Ng eventually admitted to committing the crime. His two mobile phones were confiscated.

Closed-circuit television footage from the country club had captured Ng entering the female toilet just after the woman.

Yesterday, a tearful Ng was sentenced to eight weeks' jail after he was found guilty of two counts of insulting the modesty of women and criminal trespass. Seven other charges were taken into consideration during sentencing.

Defence lawyer N. Sudha Nair said Ng was remorseful and urged the court to grant him a second chance to "enable him to seek the requisite psychiatric help at the Institute of Mental Health".

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