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Bangladeshi worker Uddin MD Sharif terminated despite being harassment victim

Uddin MD Sharif, a poet and migrant worker in Singapore for 16 years, faced termination amid harassment, with his company citing advice from MOM and police. Join the solidarity event for Sharif this Saturday from 8:00 PM to 9:30 PM at Palms Bistro.



SINGAPORE: Uddin MD Sharif, a Bangladeshi migrant worker and writer, recently disclosed that his employer had terminated him due to ongoing harassment and false accusations against him of owing money.

Despite both Mr Sharif and his employer filing multiple police reports regarding the harassment, he received a termination notice from the company stating that the decision was made under the guidance of the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) and the police, which left him feeling deeply betrayed.

“I trust the police and MOM to help me, but they let me down,” said Mr Sharif in a video.

Mr Sharif faces the imminent risk of being deported from Singapore. His employer has informed him that he must secure new employment by 12 April, or arrangements will be made for his repatriation.

In response to Mr Sharif’s plight, Workers Make Possible (WMP), an NGO dedicated to advocating for workers’ rights, has launched an online petition in solidarity with him.

The petition calls upon MOM to permit Mr Sharif to remain and work in Singapore. Additionally, it urges the Singapore police to identify the perpetrators of the harassment and put an end to it.

Mr Sharif’s ordeal

Mr Sharif, who has been contributing to Singapore’s construction, tunnelling, and piling sectors since 2008, is not only a dedicated worker but also a multifaceted individual.

Beyond his professional duties, Sharif is a poet and the author of two books: ‘Stranger to Myself‘ and ‘Stranger to My World‘.

He is also a fervent advocate for migrant workers’ rights, striving to combat the pervasive notion of disposability that often plagues this community in Singapore.

As per Sharif’s appeal letter to MOM and seen by Gutzy Asia, Mr Sharif recounts the distressing events that unfolded starting in late January 2024.

His employer, a piling construction firm, began receiving mail alleging that Sharif was indebted to a loan shark.

These letters, accompanied by copies of Sharif’s work permit and symbolic ‘joss paper’, were vehemently denied by Sharif, who asserted that he had never engaged in such transactions.

Despite Sharif’s proactive stance, the situation escalated as his employer continued to receive threatening correspondence, including a menacing phone call to their office.

Notably, Sharif himself was not directly contacted by the harasser, and the demands outlined in the messages remained vague and unsubstantiated.

Mr Sharif, eager to resolve the issue, urged his employer to involve the authorities, confident that justice would prevail.

From Sharif’s perspective, both himself and his employer were victims in this distressing ordeal.

Following the incident, Mr Sharif said the police conducted an interview with Sharif regarding the matter.

Subsequently, Sharif took proactive steps by filing his police report.

Over the next 20 days, he diligently followed up with his assigned investigation officer to inquire about the progress of the case. However, despite his efforts, he claims to have received no response.

In early March, Mr Sharif received shocking news from his employer, who claimed that both the police and MOM had advised them to “send him back” as a solution to the ongoing harassment issue.

“If he work 4 u, u pay!!”: Harassment targets Sharif’s prospective employer

Mr Sharif suspected that his work permit had been maliciously exploited without his consent to tarnish his reputation, thereby threatening his livelihood in Singapore.

Despite this setback, he managed to secure a new job within a week.

However, when his prospective employer submitted the work permit application to MOM, they received a disturbing message containing scans of Sharif’s work permit along with the words “If he work 4 u, u pay!!”.

Despite Sharif’s efforts to clarify that this was a scam and his submission of a police report, the new company opted not to proceed with his hiring, further exacerbating his plight.

“I am currently in a situation where even if I manage to find another job in this very short period, I expect the harassment will follow me and jeopardise my employment in the new company,” said Mr Sharif.

He believed that this harassment was orchestrated in bad faith, intending to force him back to Bangladesh with no prospect of returning to Singapore in the future.

In his appeal letter, Mr Sharif implores the MOM and SPF to provide clarification and deliver justice regarding whether they indeed advised his former employer to terminate his employment, despite him being the victim of harassment.

He also highlighted the lack of updates from the police regarding their findings since the matter was first reported two months ago.

“I have done nothing wrong. I have a wife, a teenage son, and a six-month-old baby who depend on me and my livelihood to Singapore.”

“Going back to Bangladesh now will crush my family.”

Expressing his profound disappointment with the injustice he’s facing, Mr Sharif remarked, “I have to leave this country, even though I’m innocent, this is very hard for me to accept.”

“Migrant workers should not be treated like we are disposable, blaming us, and throwing us away so easily whenever there is an issue,” asserted Mr Sharif, emphasizing the importance of treating migrant workers with dignity, respect, and ensuring their rights are protected.

Stand With Sharif: Solidarity event This Saturday

Separately, Workers Make Possible and Students for Migrant Rights have collaborated to organize “Stand With Sharif,” a public event aimed at shedding light on his plight.

The event is scheduled for this Saturday (6 April), from 8:00 PM to 9:30 PM, at Palms Bistro (60 Anson Rd, #01-02, Singapore 079914).

Attendees can expect readings of passages from Sharif’s books, along with the sharing of messages of solidarity and reflections on the state of migrant workers’ rights in Singapore.

In an online petition, WMP underscored a similar case from 2022 involving another migrant worker activist, Zakir Hossain Khokan, who was deported after MOM rejected his work permit renewal, citing an “adverse record with a government agency.”

Following Zakir’s public disclosure of his situation, MOM issued a statement attributing the denial of his work permit to poems he had published on Facebook regarding the treatment of migrant workers during the COVID-19 crisis.

“Courageous voices like Zakir’s and Sharif’s are rare and precious in Singapore, where most migrant workers don’t speak up publicly about their suffering due to very real fears of being deported. ”

Recognizing Sharif’s substantial contributions and deep roots in Singapore, WMP asserted that it is a significant blow to have his job and life upended, particularly when he is the victim of harassment and deserving of care and protection.

WMP urged MOM to permit Sharif to continue working in Singapore and implored the police to investigate the source of harassment against him.

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Find the asshole sending those harassing messages and justice will be served. If the police cannot locate that individual, they are either incompetent or bo chap, neither of which will make them look good.

We citizens enjoy so much rights why bother with morons foreign worker? We are really going strong and mighty in many aspects under LHL.and PAP Government. Vote them in big numbers like the PE.

We citizens don’t have much rights what more a foreign worker? We are really going downhill in many aspects under LHL.

This is what organized harrassment is all about, they follow u in every job and every store.This is not only happening to this man, its happening to citizens as well.

When one opens mouth akin under dog with a ledge, why barks unless one have open leg chee bye like mine. Justicce is sweet, no?

Looks like our law is fair to no one except for pee air pee and their followers.

There’s only one winner in politics in SG. Even the devil no match – 1 devil against 80+ gods? Who wants to take them on.

Chow ah neh come to earn Sing $ want to play politic with PAP?
Even local fucktard Sinkie don’t stand a chance, what was this Bangla thinking?
That this is like his Modi mother land?😆😆😆😆