A court case on Wednesday (25 Jan 2023) involving two PRCs revealed that the Manpower Ministry (MOM) had issued an Employment Pass (EP) for them to work in Singapore as a waitress and a general worker.
MOM issued a one-year EP to Wei JianQin to work as a waitress on 18 Apr 2007 and a two-year EP to Chen Mei to work as a general worker on 17 Jul 2009.
According to the MOM website, EP allows foreign professionals, managers and executives to work in Singapore. EP holders are supposed to work in managerial, executive, or specialised jobs. They must also have acceptable qualifications, usually a good university degree, professional qualifications, or specialised skills.
It’s not known on what basis MOM issued those EPs to the 2 PRCs to work as a waitress and a general worker respectively. It’s not known what “specialised skills” they possess to qualify them for getting an EP to work in Singapore.
In any case, MOM suddenly cancelled Wei’s pass on 27 Sep 2007 and Chen’s pass on 5 Aug 2009. That is to say, Wei’s EP was suddenly cancelled after five months and Chen’s EP after only 19 days from the date of issue. Court documents did not state the reasons for the sudden cancellations by MOM.
Both Wei and Chen were supposed to leave Singapore after their EPs were revoked, but they chose to stay on illegally. Both PRCs were arrested on 9 Jan this year by Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) officers in the same HDB unit in Bedok North Road.
In total, Wei remained in Singapore illegally for 15 years, three months and 13 days, while Chen did so for 13 years, five months and four days.
Both pleaded guilty in court to one charge under the Immigration Act each and were given the maximum jail sentence of six months and a fine of $2,000.
It’s not known why the Singapore authorities took more than a decade to find the illegal pair.