This is not truthful advocacy

Source: TWC2

NGOs are an important component of our social ecosystem. Their work and their very presence lends important support to society and government. Administrators see them as friends, not as enemies. Resources, manpower and support is given to many of these NGOs… but sometimes that gesture is not reciprocated.

Some NGOs take to lying, blowing small matters up, persuading people to take hostile action. Even going as far as protesting and civil disobedience. All this is not true advocacy.

Of all the hostile actions: protests, illegal strikes, needless court disputes and writing dramatic articles, the worst has to be the last…because these are out right lies.

Let me give you the example of lies told by TWC2 (Transient Workers Count 2).

For the sake of brevity, I have pulled out the latest three cases where they crossed the line.

5th December: TWC2 accused MOM of not looking into a case of fraud

Long story short, this accusation was proven to be false. TWC2’s article supplied a false name and written a story with allegations that turned out to be all false.

This is MOM’s response: (https://www.facebook.com/notes/singapore-ministry-of-manpower/mom-takes-claims-of-in-principle-approval-ipa-letter-fraud-seriously/1536384129743412/)

16th November: TWC2 accused MOM of not helping an injured worker

The article reported that the employer of the injured worker (Hosen Khalilur) had made it difficult for him to remain in the company’s accommodation, and had occasionally hit him. It further suggested that the claims process was unduly stretched for 15 months. All this was proven to be false.

This is MOM’s response: https://www.facebook.com/notes/singapore-ministry-of-manpower/inaccuracies-in-twc2s-article-on-injured-worker/1517605398287952/

10th November: TWC2 dramatises story of foreign worker

In the article, the story alleges the employer of unfairness in work injury compensations, deprivation of medical leave and arbitrary cancellation of work permit by the employer.

All this was investigated to be false and the worker had contributed substantially to his work permit cancellation by running away.

This is MOM’s response: https://www.facebook.com/notes/singapore-ministry-of-manpower/untruths-in-twc2-article-on-work-injury/1511649728883519/

Source: TWC2

By writing these dramatic stories, TWC2 is doing the entire industry a disservice. Many NGOs are genuine in helping people and do it properly and effectively. These lies that TWC2 contributes does no favour to the people they are trying to help and worse, it tarnishes the name of the very workers that depend on civil society for assistance.

Remember the story of the boy who cried wolf? 

TWC2 makes an art out of crying wolf. Professionally taken pictures, exciting writing. It reduces their platform to mere entertainment, nothing more.  You go there to read a terrible story about how a foreign worker got bullied by big government and haughty employers, you curse a bit and then you go move on to Stomp to watch a video about road rages.

By telling these lies, they’re desensitising people from the real problems that are happening in the industry. When real problems happen, people are not excited anymore. “Aiyah, just another case of people kena bully lah… everyday got this kind of problem”.

These false articles have consequences, and the biggest consequence is that the workers themselves don’t get the genuine help they need. People come to TWC2 expecting practical assistance and what do they get? A well written story. They might as well go to MediaCorp and turn all these into a mini-series. 

My advise to these workers: chose your NGOs wisely.

There are organisations out there with a very big ego and have bigger motives than helping people. They want to have influence, attention and be seen “fighting the big guy”. Why? …your guess is as good as mine.

This is absolutely not true advocacy. This is merely self serving.

 

About the author

Tay Leong Tan

Tay Leong Tan is a collective of 3 writers. Tay, Leong and Tan. (Who were you expecting?!) We are enthusiastic about labour issues, economics and current affairs in particular.

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