ဒီေန႔ ရံုးအလာ .. ရထားေပၚမွာ ဖတ္ခဲ့တဲ့သတင္းကို online မွာရွာၿပီး ျပန္လည္ေဝမွ်တာပါ။ :)
SINGAPORE - The "serious accusations" made yesterday by civil society group Function 8 are "entirely baseless", said the Ministry of Manpower (MOM).
Function 8 had called on the Government, public transport operator SMRT and the media to stop using the term "illegal strike" when referring to last month's industrial action by SMRT's 171 China bus drivers. The group, which noted that the four former drivers are currently awaiting trial, felt that repeating the term amounted to "prejudging their case".
"It is commenting on a pending case and the law is clear that such comments are sub judice and constitute contempt of court," added Function 8.
Refuting these accusations, an MOM spokesperson said the Singapore Government, including Acting Manpower Minister Tan Chuan-Jin and the Manpower Ministry, "has never attempted to prejudice the cases" involving the four SMRT bus drivers.
The MOM spokesperson pointed to the Criminal Law (Temporary Provisions) Act, which states that any strike taken by workers in essential services such as public transport would be deemed illegal unless 14 days' notice has been given.
"Mr Tan's comments to call it 'an illegal strike' were made with that in mind, and he referred to workers participating in the strike in general, without referring to the participation of any particular worker (s), or to any matter pending before a court of law," said the MOM spokesperson.
A pretrial conference has been set for tomorrow for the four former drivers, but it is not known if they will be contesting the charges.
Function 8 also questioned why MOM had revoked the work passes of 29 former drivers "so swiftly, and without allowing them legal representation or giving them an opportunity to be heard".
In response, an MOM spokesperson said the 29 former drivers were given an opportunity to be heard in relation to their conduct during the strike, and that their work permits were only revoked after "due consideration" by the Controller of Work Passes.
"There is no requirement for legal representation in such a process, and no request was made in this regard by any of the 29 workers," added the MOM spokesperson.