Foreigners working in Singapore on work passes must abide by the nation's laws, or risk having their work passes revoked.
This was a statement issued by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), in response to queries on the action that would be taken against Employment Pass (EP) holders who are caught flouting Covid-19 measures.
The EP is for foreign professionals who work in managerial, executive or specialised jobs in Singapore, and earn a fixed monthly salary of at least S$3,900, and have a good university degree, professional qualifications or specialised skills.
Singaporeans and foreigners alike have been penalised for flouting rules
According to MOM, those who are convicted for offences risk having their work passes revoked, regardless of pass types.
They also risk being issued an employment ban.
MOM said that they have consistently revoked the work passes of persons convicted of criminal offences or for making false declarations in work pass applications, including holders of work permits, S Pass and EPs.
"In the last three years, more than 100 Employment Pass holders have their work passes revoked," said an MOM spokesperson.
MOM also emphasised that recent circuit breaker measures, such as requiring everyone to wear a mask whenever they leave their homes, will be enforced strictly, regardless of their nationality.
According to MOM, Singaporeans and foreigners alike have been penalised for flouting such rules, and these occurrences have been widely publicised.
There were several recent instances of work passes being revoked for offences
Previously, on March 21, MOM announced that the work passes of 89 work pass holders were revoked, after the workers breached entry approval and Stay-Home Notice (SHN) requirements.
Out of the 89 suspended, 73 work pass holders with travel history to Covid-19 affected countries entered Singapore without obtaining entry approval from MOM, while 16 others breached their SHN or Leave-of-Absence (LOA) requirements.
Later, on April 12, MOM revoked the work pass of a worker who breached circuit breaker measures, and permanently banned him from working in Singapore.
The man was found loitering at various public places for an extended period of time after work on April 9, and only returned to his place of residence on April 10.
On a separate occasion, 24 work pass holders were permanently banned from working in Singapore on April 13 after they were caught flouting circuit breaker measures.
They were caught eating, drinking and gathering in groups at the vicinity of Tuas View Square.
However, on April 15, a local non-governmental organisation Humanitarian Organisation for Migrant Economics (HOME) called such measures "harsh and disproportionate", given how most Singapore residents who have flouted similar measures have only been issued fines of S$300, or written advisories.
HOME argued that such standards should be applied evenly across Singapore, regardless of nationality and residential status, if MOM wishes to send a clear signal of the seriousness of the offence.
Seven people will be charged on June 2 for breaching circuit breaker rules
Recently, on May 16, a crowd formed at Robertson Quay, with many people spotted loitering around the area with no face masks.
One of the photos also showed F&B establishments in the area selling alcohol, with customers hanging out outside a craft beer bar.
The incident prompted outrage among netizens, and two weeks after the incident, on May 30, the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) announced that six men and one woman, aged between 30 and 52, will be charged in court on June 2 for breaching the Covid-19 (Temporary Measures) control order.
Top image from Lectress Pat/FB.