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Govt will take action on illegal tradesmen: Tan Chuan-Jin

Acting Manpower Minister Tan Chuan-Jin reiterated that it is illegal for foreigners on social visit pass to work in Singapore, when he was asked in Parliament on Tuesday about an informal sector of tradesmen from Malaysia who come to Singapore to work.

SINGAPORE: Acting Manpower Minister Tan Chuan-Jin reiterated that it is illegal for foreigners on social visit pass to work in Singapore, when he was asked in Parliament on Tuesday about an informal sector of tradesmen from Malaysia who come to Singapore to work.

MP for Tampines GRC Baey Yam Keng said the workers are usually freelance plumbers, air con servicemen or electricians.

He asked if the ministry is able to track their movements.

Mr Tan added since they do not pay the foreign worker levy, such tradesmen are able to charge lower fees compared to locals, and therefore could contribute to a wage depression of local workers in similar trades.

Opposition MP Low Thia Khiang wanted to know what sort of enforcement action the ministry takes on such workers.

Mr Tan said authorities conduct random checks based on feedback and complaints, and action will be taken against such illegal tradesmen.

If convicted, they could be fined up to S$20,000, jailed up to two years and barred from entry into Singapore for up to two years.

Mr Tan said: "I think it's also important for us to encourage industry associations to play a role by raising awareness for consumers on the importance of turning to properly accredited and trained tradesmen.

“...The more you employ those who are here illegally, you also actually affect the livelihood of Singaporeans who may be plying the trade in these sectors." 

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