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Migrant worker Sharif leaves Singapore after ICA & MOM decline to extend his Special Pass

Migrant worker Uddin MD Sharif left Singapore this morning after the ICA and MOM upheld the decision not to extend his Special Pass beyond 31 May. Terminated by his employer despite being a victim of harassment and false accusations, he was told to leave Singapore after police investigations concluded, even though he had not secured a new job.

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SINGAPORE:  Uddin MD Sharif, a Bangladeshi migrant worker and writer, left Singapore this morning after the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) and the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) upheld the decision not to extend his Special Pass beyond 31 May 2024.

On the morning of 31 May, Mr Sharif bid farewell to his friends in Singapore. He posted pictures of himself and his friends at Changi Airport’s departure hall on Facebook, hours after the ICA and MOM confirmed that his Special Pass would not be extended.

In a Facebook post on Thursday, Mr Sharif said two friends from Marsiling-Yew Tee GRC had gone to see Prime Minister Lawrence Wong about his case. Mr Wong holds  Meet-the-People sessions every Wednesday.

He shared that he was told PM Wong assured them he would write to the ICA, appealing for an extension of Sharif’s stay in Singapore to facilitate his job search.

In a joint statement issued by the ICA and MOM at midnight on Friday, the agencies affirmed they had received an appeal on Mr Sharif’s behalf by a resident of Marsiling-Yew Tee GRC during the MPS session on 29 May.

The joint statement reiterated that Mr Sharif had been given ample time since the termination of his work permit on 11 April 2024 to seek employment under the Temporary Job Scheme (TJS), even while SPF’s investigations into unlicensed moneylender harassment reports were ongoing.

MOM, along with the Migrant Workers’ Centre, connected him with employment agencies to support his job search under the TJS.

Upon Mr Sharif’s request on 9 May 2024, MOM provided him with an email confirmation of his TJS eligibility on 13 May 2024. MOM understands that Mr Sharif had turned down job offers, including positions as a packer and a hotel cleaner.

As police investigations into the case have concluded and Mr Sharif has not secured new employment, he must leave Singapore, the joint statement insisted.

Mr Sharif’s Special Pass was originally due to expire on 24 May 2024, but at his request for additional time to make departure arrangements, it was extended to 27 May 2024. Given the circumstances of his case, authorities then granted a further extension to 31 May 2024.

The statement concluded that should Mr Sharif wish to return to Singapore for work in the future, he will have to apply afresh for a work permit based on the prevailing criteria.

Mr Sharif terminated by former employer despite being harassment victim

In April, Mr Sharif disclosed that his employer had terminated him due to ongoing harassment and false accusations against him of owing money.

Sharif, who has contributed to Singapore’s construction industry since 2008 and authored two books, began facing problems in late January 2024 when his employer received mail falsely alleging that Sharif was indebted to a loan shark.

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

MOM and police on 6 April in a Facebook post clarified that they did not advise the company to terminate Mr Sharif and that Mr Sharif is allowed to remain in Singapore.

In a video shared by WMP on Instagram on 23 May, Mr Sharif revealed that the Singapore Police informed him of the conclusion of their investigations, leading to his impending repatriation to Bangladesh.

Mr Sharif also shared that ICA set a departure deadline of 31 May the following day.

According to Sharif, this decision contradicts earlier assurances from authorities that he could stay in Singapore to seek new employment after his investigation concluded.

Police: No evidence of involvement by Mr Sharif with unlicensed moneylenders

In response to Uddin Sharif’s statements, the police and the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) issued a joint statement earlier on Tuesday affirming that thorough investigations found no evidence linking Mr Sharif to unlicensed moneylenders, and all leads were diligently pursued.

Despite his work permit termination on 11 April, Mr Sharif was issued a Special Pass to remain in Singapore and assist with police investigations, with his former employer covering his accommodation and meals.

Mr. Sharif, who has contributed to Singapore’s construction, tunneling, 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‘.

As the first migrant worker to win the Singapore Book Award for Best Non-Fiction Title, 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.

Mr Sharif’s case gained the support of more than 1,513 people, who signed an online petition to let the father of two remain in Singapore.

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Even PM powerless against state organs.

Please remember to keep your seat belt on during the flight. Don’t become a victim of turbulence as well 🙂

Its unfortunate that the mystery of the harrasser wasnt solved, at least for Mr Uddin’s sake..
So justice was not served.
Maybe theres something more to this story than meets our eyes.

Last edited 20 days ago by W.A.J.

Crystal clear, the practice of political administrators in power is discard the monk after prayers.

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