29 workers return home after failing to find employment
It was a sombre moment as they returned home to Dhaka, Bangladesh, on Monday last week.
Mr Motin Abdul, 28, and his former colleagues, Mr Madbar Yousuf, 31, and Mr Ahamed Mohammad Faruk, 30, are not sure if they will be coming back to Singapore.
The three friends are part of a group of 31 workers from construction companies HBB Engineering and C-Plus Engineering who were owed between four and eight months' pay by their employers.
The New Paper reported last month that some of the workers found themselves jobless - the workers say their former employers cancelled their work permits after they lodged complaints about their missing salaries to the Ministry of Manpower (MOM).
They were given time to find alternative employment before their S-Pass expired, but only two out of the 31 managed to do so.
The trio had received full payment of their salaries the week before, with assistance from MOM.
The sum does not cover the debt of $3,000 to $9,000 the workers had already incurred to come to Singapore.
That is why they still hope to return to Singapore in the near future, even if that means having to incur more debt to fund their next trip.
Mr Motin, who interviewed unsuccessfully at four companies here, told The New Paper: "There are not many jobs in Bangladesh, and even if there are, we earn very little compared with here.
"I will go home and check with my friends and the agencies to see if I can find a company."
But, they are also worried about the cost of funding their trips here.
Mr Madbar said: "I'm not sure how I will get the money, but I will most probably get a loan from the bank."
But Mr Prodhan Abdur Razzak, 36, who is one of the lucky ones, will remain in Singapore as he waits to start his new job as an excavator operator in the coming weeks.
He said: "All my problems are gone, and my family and I are really happy now."