MOM slammed for “appalling” and “insulting” call for pro-bono app developer


Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has been slammed online for calling for a company to develop a free application for migrant workers.

The Ministry announced a “unique opportunity” for creative and digital firms to create an app to provide foreign labourers with mobile access to MOM and private-sector services and products.

Instead of financial remuneration, the company which takes this opportunity would receive “free exposure,” the Ministry said.

The post went viral with people in the creative industry calling the advertisement “appalling.”

In speaking to an online publication, independent agency Goodstuph founder Pat Law said:

“I find it ironic that it came from the Ministry of Manpower – the body supposed to be governing fair pay. You have to applaud them for their honesty.
“I found the post appalling and amusing at the same time. It’s for a good cause, but [the announcement] could have been better worded.”

Fiona Bartholomeusz, founder of Formul8, opined:

“It seems like a junior person’s smart idea to save the ministry some money and seemingly appeal to some app development company’s altruistic tendencies. Aren’t we living in a ‘lead by example’ society? Seems fair if you expect people to work for free, that you should be held against the same standards.”

Netizens have chimed in with their criticisms online as well:

The MOM is said to have signed tech companies Aptiv8 and GenyTek to develop the app, although the offer remains standing for other companies to join.


  1. They dun even want to pay a single cent for local creative professionals and yet can pay $900,000.00 to build a freakin Rubbish Bin Centre. WTF ??

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