20160602 Dormitory operator’s illegal profits should be confiscated in addition to $300,000 fine

I refer to CNA’s “Dormitory operator fined S$300,000 for housing foreign workers in overcrowded conditions”. For exceeding the housing limit of 4500 foreign workers at the Blue Stars Dormitory by 542, K T Mesdorm was fined $300,000.

Somehow, the fine seems totally disproportionate to the offence. Hmm.. perhaps the judge forgot an additional ‘0’?

Assuming Mesdorm charges an average of $300/foreign worker/month, Mesdorm stood to gain $162,000 every month.(542 X $300)

Bear in mind that Blue Stars Dormitory (BSD) managed by Mesdorm is a ‘one-stop integrated complex… that includes super market, parks, remittance centre…”. Mesdorm therefore also profited from additional supermarket sales and its remittance business. The total profit from Mesdorm’s offence easily amounted to $200,000 per month.

It is unlikely for Mesdorm to have been caught soon after it exceeded the limit for workers because the authorities have proven to be lax in enforcement, frequently relying on public feedback. Also, not forgetting the hygiene at BSD did not deteriorate into such conditions (see photos below) overnight. Assuming it was over a 6 month period, Mesdorm would have profited an additional $1,200,000 from the offence.

KT Mesdorm is part of the MES Group. For a multi-million dollar business, its website is pretty interesting.**

MES Group claims to be the “industry leader in providing world-class workforce residences”. From the photos below, this appears to be a joke at best.

World class or cockroach class?

The government should send a clear message that it will not tolerate companies which flout common-sense laws. It should confiscate all Mesdorm’s profit from the offence on top of the $300,000 fine. This is also common sense.

By allowing Mesdorm to profit from the offence, it’s not merely a slap on Mesdorm’s wrist but an insult to the justice system. Shouldn’t prosecution appeal?

Under ‘management profile’, there are strangely only 2 names, ie Chairman Sidek Saniff and CEO Mohamed Abdul Jaleel. MES group is a multi-million dollar business with interests in commercial transportation, commercial warehousing, property, manpower and ‘value services’, not a neighbourhood provision shop. Only 2 persons in management?

Sidek Saniff is a former minister and PAP MP.

CEO Jaleel is a grassroots leader conferred the PBM in 2005. Jaleel was featured in the Straits Times in 2010, (also 2013 and 2015) where he disclosed six-figure sums given to The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund, The President’s Challenge 2010 and four community self-help groups.

The MES Group has also received awards from the PA and Ministry of Defence, sponsored campaigns by the Traffic Police in 2008 and 2009, a major donor for a Mediacorp charity drive in 2009, logistic supporter for 2014 and 2015 NDP, etc.

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4 Responses to 20160602 Dormitory operator’s illegal profits should be confiscated in addition to $300,000 fine

  1. Sinkie says:

    Just 1 of the many examples of crony capitalism & exploitation that is rampant in PAP S’pore. The 2 PAPpy jokers will still get invitations to posh dinners & events populated by top PAPies & elites. They will still get to hobnob with senior PAPies at s’pore island country club. After 1 year, those 2 assholes will get to be named publicly for national awards & high-falutin exploits as shining examples for other Sinkies to follow. This episode will be like it never happened.

    How many workers’ health affected by this living conditions?!? How many had to take MCs and suffer pay cuts for not being able to show up for their daily-rated or hourly-rate jobs?!?! How many had to force themselves to work in dangerous jobsites (e.g. construction, marine, chemical/process industries) even when sick thus endangering not only themselves but other workers and people around their jobsites?!?!?

    Who cares right?!?! PAPies don’t give a shit as long as they & Temasek & GIC continue to get their billions in dividends and kickbacks from companies like Sembcorp, Keppel, CapitaLand, CDL, ST Engineering. that many of these workers are employees of.

    And the irony of a punishment that is similar to one having dished out to Roy Ngerng. Similar level of fines — 1 for supposedly wounding the integrity of an already suspect LHL, while the other is for manifestly & so damn obviously affecting the health and livelihoods of thousands of people. Same level of punishment — where 1 case has 2 PAP-associated offenders that can treat it like not even worth a PEANUT, while the other case it is having to slog & payup by installments over many decades or else face bankruptcy. And compounded by being stigmatised locally & being unable to get any good-paying jobs in S’pore due to political discrimination.

  2. Megan says:

    they the PAP, sure have a reputation…and certainly not a good one….will there be justice???

    • Phillip Ang says:

      I understand karma is a very strict accountant. Nobody, of course including you and me, escapes its invisible hand. 😦

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