A pair of migrant workers, husband and wife, were arrested after they were seen kneeling in protest over labor disputes in the middle of a busy Singapore street, refusing to move.
Oncoming traffic had to carefully dodge the couple as they knelt down in the middle lane of Bendemeer Road near the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) Service Center at around noon yesterday, holding sheets of paper with Chinese writing.
According to the Straits Times:
An MOM spokesman said the woman, a work permit holder, had gone to the centre with her husband to get help in obtaining a refund of agency fees she had allegedly paid her overseas agent. She wanted the local employment agency which had hired her to return the money.
“Based on her representation, our officers explained our laws and regulations to her, which she refused to accept,” said the spokesman. “Despite our efforts, she was not satisfied.”
Police arrived at the scene after around 15 minutes and arrested the couple, who reportedly wouldn’t budge after being told to.
Public demonstrations are rare outside the confines of Singapore’s Hong Lim Park, the only venue where protests are allowed, as such events require police permits.
Two men were arrested in April for holding up signs outside the Istana in a peaceful protest against the government’s control of free spech. If found guilty for organizing a public assembly without a permit they could face fines of up to 5,000 SGD (23,000 RMB).
[Image via ifeng.com]