Singapore — Jurong Penjuru Dormitory 1 and 2, Blue Stars Dormitory and The Leo, dormitories operated by Labourtel Management Corporation, were found by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) to be in shocking condition, with cockroaches, broken light fixtures and showers, corroded staircases and railings.
MOM called the dormitory living conditions “filthy and unacceptable.”
As a result, the company and its director are now being prosecuted under the Foreign Employee Dormitories Act (FEDA), the first time this is being done, for failure to give workers clean living conditions.
Labourtel’s director, 42-year-old Parvis Ahamed Mohamed Ghouse, is facing six charges for not following licensing conditions of dormitories for foreign workers. The company faces 10 charges.
The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) released a statement on Thursday, July 4, saying that Labourtel’s offenses were reportedly committed between November 2017 and January 2019.
The statement also said that it found several breaches of the FEDA at four of the purpose built dormitories (PBDs) that Labourtel manages and that these buildings are poorly maintained.
“For example, there were missing or damaged light fixtures, faulty shower taps, and corroded railings and staircases. The living conditions in the PBDs were also filthy and unacceptable, such as cockroaches found in the rooms,” MOM added.
The New Paper reported that at the Blue Stars Dormitory at Kian Teck Lane, off Pioneer Road, Labourtel allegedly failed to fix or replace broken shower doors, wash basins and stoves, while at The Leo, a dormitory in Kaki Bukit Road, cobwebs and cockroaches were found in the rooms and living areas.
At Blue Stars Dormitory, the exterior of the wall was allegedly covered in algae, and at Jurong Penjuru Dormitory 2, the company’s director reportedly failed to make sure that a damaged toilet bowl was replaced or fixed, and that the covers of trash chutes, which had gone missing, were replaced.
In all six charges against Mr Parvis, he is being accused of neglect.
The cases against Labourtel Management Corporation, which is under the Mini Environment Service Group (MES), and Mr Parvis, have been adjourned to 1 August 2019 for a Further Mention.
If Labourtel Management Corporation is found guilty, it can be fined as much as S$50,000 for every charge received. Mr Parvis could go to jail for as long as one year, as well as face a fine of S$50,000 for each charge if he is convicted.
The statement from MOM explained in a footnote that “FEDA regulates how large dormitories with 1,000 beds or more should be managed. Such dormitories are required to obtain a licence under FEDA to operate. Since 2015, the law requires all large dormitories to apply for a licence to operate. Under FEDA, dormitory operators are subject to a set of licensing conditions which aim to address added complexities associated with the management of large dormitories due to the high concentration of foreign workers in the dormitories. Licensed dormitories will need to meet security and public health requirements, as well as provide and maintain social, recreational and commercial amenities for its residents.”/ TISG