Sat. Jul 20th, 2024

TL;DR – What an interesting turn of events.

It’s utterly irresponsible of any employer not to pay their employees. It affects the entire family of the employee. So it’s understandable that anyone who doesn’t get paid for his work would want to lodge a complaint to the authorities. That’s exactly what Muhamad Syafiq Bin Mohamad Shah did, when his employer didn’t pay him the $5000 that was promised to him for completing his job.

Did job, didn’t get paid…

Here’s what happened.


Muhamad Syafiq used his mobile phone to look for a job on Carousell and found an advertisement which promised a “fast job” with “paid cash”. Tempted by such an offer, Muhamad Syafiq indicated his interest by leaving his name and contact number in a comment to the advertisement post.

Muhamad Syafiq soon received a WhatsApp message from a person known only as Benson, who introduced himself as an “Ah Long”. The job was to harass people who owe money to Benson by doing things that included locking the gate of the units owned by the debtors with bicycle locks and placing A4 sized notes on the doors. For each job, Benson agreed to pay Muhamad Syafiq $250. Muhamad Syafiq completed a total of 20 jobs.

Unfortunately, Benson didn’t make good on his promise. Despite several requests for payment, Muahamad Syafiq did not receive any payment. He therefore decided to report the matter to the Police. Not surprisingly, he was promptly arrested, charged, convicted, and sentenced to 6 months imprisonment.

But police can’t help even if the job’s a legit one…

We don’t know what made Muhamad Syafiq think that going to the police was a good idea. In any case, the police doesn’t handle this sort of disputes. In this case, it would seem that Muhamad Syafiq is a freelancer. He might have had better luck if he had gone to the NTUC’s Freelancers and Self-employed Unit (U FSE) lol.

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In case you’re wondering, the U FSE is the Labour Movement’s initiative to represent freelancers and self-employed in Singapore. The initiative which was launched in 2015 works to strengthen the income security, skills mastery and collective interests of this group of working people.

But then again, given the nature of Muhamad Syafiq’s “job”,  I don’t think the U FSE will be able to help him either.

Maybe if he decides to become a full-time employee, and unfortunately finds himself in a similar situation where his employer doesn’t pay him on time, he could then seek advice and mediation services from the Tripartite Alliance for Dispute Management (TADM).

By Joey Wee

I am nice, most of the time!