Friday, 22 September 2023

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TOC Exclusive: Death of Bangladeshi worker in 2008

Andrew Loh with special thanks to “wildpoppies2009”

In December 2008, Bangladeshi worker Mohamad Kamaluddin, 28, was found dead in his dormitory at 468 Tagore Industrial Avenue. He was an employee of Gates Offshore, a ship repair and dormitory services company.

Kamaluddin had contracted chicken pox but was not given any medical assistance by his employer or the police, which his fellow workers said, had visited the dormitory several times prior to Kamaluddin’s death. We understand that his employer had given his family S$167.

We have learnt that legal firm, Leonard Loo & Partners and the non-government organization, TWC2, recently submitted a notification of Kamaluddin’s death to the Ministry of Manpower (MOM).  MOM was never notified by the employer, Gates Offshore, or Mr Paul Lee.  The policy was that the employer is to notify MOM of the accident.  However, the worker  or his family could also notify MOM if they found out that the employer, in this case Gates Offshore/Paul Lee, did not notify MOM.  Kamaluddin died late last year.  MOM was only notified in June 2009!

Below is an exclusive, never-before-seen video of the scenes at the dormitory at 468 Tagore Industrial Avenue on the morning of 28 December 2008, the day Kamaluddin’s body was discovered motionless in the dormitory. The police had been called and his fellow workers had spilled onto the roads outside the dormitory, which housed about 700 workers, outraged at the way they were being treated.

Mohd Kamaluddin (middle), his wife and son (left) and Kamaluddin’s mother (right)

Read also:

Mohamed Kamaluddin by The Online Citizen

Bangladeshi worker found dead in dorm by Today

3 more get chicken pox by The Straits Times

Family grieves as body of Bangladeshi who died of chickenpox arrives home by The Straits Times


As the economy takes a dive, migrant workers are told there are no more jobs for them and many are left without any money, some relying on aid workers for their daily meals. In the following video, several workers speak about their plight. Most of them have since been repatriated – either with a few hundred dollars to bring home or nothing at all – after having paid agents thousands of dollars to work in Singapore and being exploited by unscrupulous employers.

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