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Updates: MOM maintains blog post accusation is "accurate"

Updates: MOM maintains blog post accusation is "accurate"

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Published by Ravi Philemon
The latest exchanges between Andrew Loh and Ms Farah Abdul Rahim, director corps comms and press secretary to the Acting Minister of the Ministry for Manpower, regarding an article on the MOM blog which criticised Andrew for not providing MOM with the details of several dormitories.

You can read about it here:

http://andrewlohhp.wordpress.com/2013/05/15/my-email-to-mom-minister-about-accusation-on-moms-blog/
The latest exchanges between Andrew Loh and Ms Farah Abdul Rahim, director corps comms and press secretary to the Acting Minister of the Ministry for Manpower, regarding an article on the MOM blog which criticised Andrew for not providing MOM with the details of several dormitories.

You can read about it here:

http://andrewlohhp.wordpress.com/2013/05/15/my-email-to-mom-minister-about-accusation-on-moms-blog/

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Published by: Ravi Philemon on May 20, 2013
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10/18/2013

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5/20/13 Updates: MOM maintains blog post accusation is "accurate"www.facebook.com/notes/andrew-loh/updates-mom-maintains-blog-post-accusation-is-accurate/10151662241720460 1/4
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Updates: MOM maintains blog post accusation is "accurate"
The following is the latest exchanges between me and Ms Farah Abdul Rahim, director corps comms andpress secretary to the Acting Minister of the Ministry for Manpower. It regards an article on the MOM blog which criticised me for not providing MOM with the details of severaldormitories. You can read about it here: http://andrewlohhp.wordpress.com/2013/05/15/my-email-to-mom-minister-about-accusation-on-moms-blog/  -------------------- Here is the email from Farah Abdul Rahim on20 May 2013 and myreply to her below:  Dear Andrew,Thank you for your email. On behalf of MOM,we would like to thank you for your efforts in flagging such unacceptable accommodation. The facts we had presented in our Manpower Blog are accurate. In your first email to me on 22nd April, you had referred me andmy colleagues to the blogs and articles, but there were no specific addresses mentioned in them, as per your published email correspondence between us (below).It was only upon a request from Ms Chin from our Foreign Manpower Management Division’s Customer Responsiveness Branch that you responded with specific addresses, and information from Google Earth, asper your published correspondence between Ms Chin and yourself (below): You had also mocked our request for more specific information in your Facebook entry (as reproducedbelow, which has since been removed). 
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5/20/13 Updates: MOM maintains blog post accusation is "accurate"www.facebook.com/notes/andrew-loh/updates-mom-maintains-blog-post-accusation-is-accurate/10151662241720460 2/4
 We note your explanation that what you posted on your personal Facebook page was a rant out of frustration. As highlighted in our Manpower blog, our officers are doing good work on the ground, and sayingotherwise is certainly unhelpful. We accept your apology to MOM officers for disparaging their work.We do appreciate public tip-offs, and we do need specific addresses as far as possible, as this will in turnenable us to conduct the inspections in as timely a manner as possible, to help any affected workers. Thiswill also enable our resources to be used prudently.Thank you.Farah Abdul RahimDirector, Corporate CommunicationsPress Secretary to Minister  ---------------- My reply to Farah Abdul Rahim, copied to the Acting Minister Tan Chuan Jin. Dear Farah, Thank you for the reply. Please note that the screenshot of my Facebook page you provided, includes a picture, with the word"Unbelievable", which is not from me. The blog post by "Yusri" on the MOM blog gives the impression that I withheld information from MOM.Indeed, your latest email makes the same claims - that the "facts we had presented in our Manpower Blogare accurate." On the contrary, the facts are that I had provided MOM with the information which I had, and that I promptlyprovided further information when asked. The sequence of email exchanges shows this. Allow me to list thisdown, with time and dates: First email to Farah Abdul Rahim - 21 April, 12:27pm (Sunday)Reply from Farah Abdul Rahim - 21 April, 11:49pm (Sunday)Reply from me to Farah Abdul Rahim - 22 April, 9:34am (Monday)Reply from Chin Yen Eu - 24 April, 9:14am (Wednesday)Reply from me to Chin Yen Eu - 24 April, 10:41am (Wednesday)Follow-up email to Chin Yen Eu - 26 April, 4:04pm (Friday)Follow-up email to Chin Yen Eu - 8 May, 11:24am (Wednesday)Reply from Chin Yen Eu - 8 May, 6:40pm (Wednesday)Reply to Chin Yen Eu - 10 May, 1:23pm (Friday) In more details, the email exchanges and the kind of information provided: 21 April: Two links to two articles which provided the following information:- A 7-minute video of the insides of 4 overcrowded dormitories- Pictures of overcrowded dorms- "Room packed with double-decker beds"- 4 dormitories with 30-40 people in each dorm- Road name, "Kaki BUkit Industrial Terrace" 21 April:- Farah Abdul Rahim replied to ask for "more details... on the location, details and all". 
 
5/20/13 Updates: MOM maintains blog post accusation is "accurate"www.facebook.com/notes/andrew-loh/updates-mom-maintains-blog-post-accusation-is-accurate/10151662241720460 3/4
22 April: I replied to Farah Abdul Rahim with the following information:- Address of dorms, Kaki Bukit Industrial Terrace, the row of shophouses at the end of that street. Thedorms house 30 to 40 people in each one, complaints about sanitation facilities not working, and bad foodprovided. These workers (Bangladeshis, Indians, Chinese) have been living there for some time now, 2years or maybe more. 24 April: Chin Yen Eu asked for specific information, and for me to fill up a form. 24 April: My reply to Chin Yen Eu contained the following information:- 63 to 69, Kaki Bukit Industrial Terrace- MOM might also want to take a look at the other dormitories around that area/street as well.26 April: Emailed Chin Yen Eu to ask if she had received my last email (on 24 April), as I had not heardfrom her since then. 8 May: Emailed Chin Yen Eu again to ask if she could provide updates.8 May: Chin Yen Eu finally replied to say that MOM "have acted on the information provided".  As you can see, it was MOM which failed to acknowledge or to reply to my email on 24 April, in which Iprovided the specific information Yen Eu had asked for - namely, the house numbers of the dormitories.I had not provided this earlier as I did not have this information with me. However, when asked for this, I tooktime to do a Google Earth search to retrieve the house numbers and I promptly provided this to MOM on thevery same day. In short, in those 3 days between the 21 to 24 April, I had provided MOM with the following: - A video of the dorms- Pictures of the dorms- 2 articles detailing the conditions inside the dorms, including number of workers in each of them, their nationalities, their complaints, etc.- The road address of the dorms- The house numbers of the dorms In fact, I had provided all the information which MOM required - information which it apparently usedeventually to visit the dorms to take the necessary actions.It is regrettable that MOM finds it fit to criticise me for not being prompt enough in providing the informationit requires. And it is also unfortunate that despite the facts available to MOM with regards to the emailexchanges, it continues to maintain that its blog posting is "accurate". If MOM maintains this, then so be it. Thank you. Regards, Andrew Loh -----------------------  A follow-up email from me to Farah Abdul Rahim, on the same day: Dear Farah, By the way, you said: "You had also mocked our request for more specific information in your Facebook entry (as reproducedbelow, which has since been removed)." I am not sure which posting you're referring to because my posting on my Facebook page has never beenremoved: https://www.facebook.com/andrewlohhp/posts/601774623180824 Regards, Andrew Loh
Unlike·Comment·Share You,Lynn LeeandCallan Thamlike this.
SpeakSpoke WriteWrote
Unbelievableabout an hour agoviamobile·Like
Angela Faye Oon
All this distraction aside, has MOM done anything about the condition of thedormitories?!It seems to me that the onus is on MOM to begin investigations once a "public tip-off" is received, andwhen they are informed of the general area where the pro...
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about an hour agoviamobile·Like·4
Simon Sim
Fail epic. Internal organisation seems to be in disarray.about an hour ago·Like11

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