The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has revealed that the number of reported cases of private addresses being falsely registered as home addresses of foreign workers have significantly increased to 489 over the past five months from less than 30 per year previously.
The ministry’s statement follows condo resident Ruzaidie Dar Surnik’s Facebook post on his discovery that five individuals were registered under his residential address after using the Foreign Worker Tenant Enquiry Service (FWTES), reported Channel News Asia.
“I was confused because I didn’t rent out my house or room to anybody,” he said. “I was also shocked because these people could use others’ residential addresses anyhow.”
Of the complaints made to their office, MOM said they have fined 19 employers as at 24 April and revoked the work permits of 13 workers.
The ministry has also advised the home owners to “rectify their residential records and block their addresses to prevent further misuse”.
MOM noted that some of the employers deliberately provided false addresses in order to circumvent housing requirements as they have housed their workers at unapproved factory premises or overcrowded units.
Meanwhile, some of the workers who had sourced for their own accommodation deliberately entered false addresses as they are living in overcrowded units.
Minority of the cases involved “genuine administrative errors” by employers when registering the addresses, such as keying in the wrong unit number.
Launched in December 2018, FWTES allow home owners who have rented out their units to easily check the names of foreign workers residing at their addresses. It also enables them to remove the names of workers who have already moved out.
MOM conducts regular inspections in order to ensure the accuracy of residential addresses declared by employers.
“Through these inspections, MOM detected that private homes’ addresses were being used to register as foreign workers’ residential addresses without the home owner’s knowledge,” said the ministry.
Fiona Ho, Digital Content Manager at PropertyGuru, edited this story. To contact her about this or other stories, email firstname.lastname@example.org