The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) would like to point out that the articles published by Gutzy Asia on 12 October 2023 and Singapore Eye on 13 October 2023, and social media posts published by Gutzy Asia, Singapore Eye and The Online Citizen Asia on 12 and 13 October 2023 contain a false statement of fact. MOM would also like to provide additional clarifications on other misleading points raised in Gutzy Asia’s article and Facebook posts.
On 12 October 2023, the Singapore Police Force had received a call for assistance at Block 874 Yishun Street 81. A woman was conveyed unconscious to the hospital, where she subsequently passed away.
False Statement of Fact
The articles and social media posts by Gutzy Asia, Singapore Eye and The Online Citizen Asia stated that the deceased individual was a female domestic worker from the Philippines.
This statement is false.
The deceased is a Singaporean.
POFMA Correction Direction
The Minister for Manpower has instructed for a Correction Direction, under the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act 2019, to be issued to Gutzy Asia, Singapore Eye and The Online Citizen Asia, which requires them to insert a Correction Notice against each original post, with a link to the Government’s clarification.
We advise members of the public not to speculate and/or spread unverified rumours. The Government takes a serious view of the deliberate communication of malicious falsehoods.
Gutzy Asia’s article and Facebook posts had linked the death to “urgent concerns about the wellbeing of domestic workers in Singapore amidst recent similar incidents”, and stated that this “spark[ed] calls for greater oversight and reforms to ensure their safety and wellbeing”. This is misleading, as it suggests that there has been insufficient oversight by the government over migrant domestic workers’ (MDWs) well-being.
MOM has put in place a suite of measures to support the mental well-being of our MDWs.
Since April 2021, MOM officers have started house visits to engage some MDWs and their employers directly.
MOM officers are trained to look out for indicators of stress and discuss any issues raised with employers so that they can be adequately addressed.
Together with the Centre for Domestic Employees (CDE) under the National Trades Union Congress, MOM has launched three CDEConnect centres. The centres provide convenience for MDWs and their employers to walk in and seek advice on employment issues. The centres conduct compulsory interviews for all first-time MDWs to ensure they adapt well to their new role. MOM also works with other non-governmental organisations to extend our support measures.
In addition, within three months of the MDW’s placement, employment agencies must conduct a post-placement check. All newly arrived MDWs also attend the Settling-In Programme, where they are taught how to work safely and carry out their duties responsibly.
Besides working with non-governmental organisations and employment agencies, MOM has also required first-time employers to attend the Employers’ Orientation Programme (EOP). The EOP educates employers on their responsibilities of care towards their MDWs. Employers are reminded to be patient and understanding when guiding MDWs on their household chores, and to integrate them into the household.
MOM has also published a mental well-being guide for employers on our website. The guide highlights the signs and symptoms of stress; shares tips on how employers can help their MDWs adopt healthy habits; provides information on MDW courses and activities; and promotes helplines run by MOM, non-governmental and mental health organisations for distressed MDWs. MOM also regularly disseminates electronic mailers to advise and reiterate the key content in the mental well-being guide to employers.