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Toh Yong Chuan
The Straits Times
Thu, Jan 26, 2017
Bangladeshi construction worker Islam Rafiqul will be going home, thanks to more than $11,000 in donations.
His employer, Geosray Engineering and Services, had ignored a Labour Court order to pay him $7,363 in wages that he is owed.
The 42-year-old was stuck as he did not have the means to pursue other legal options.
Yesterday, non-governmental organisation Transient Workers Count Too (TWC2) handed him a $1,250 cash cheque, from donations by readers who had read about his plight in The Straits Times last week. He also received $10,160 in cash from online fund-raising website give.asia.
The website circulated ST's report and raised $10,462 from 263 donors, said co-founder Aseem Kumar Thakur.Thakur.
A sum of $302 was deducted by banks to cover credit card processing fees for donors who used cards to donate through the website.
Mr Aseem, a permanent resident who runs the website on a voluntarily basis, said donors were moved to help. "Nobody likes stories of injustice."
A law firm, which asked to remain anonymous, has also offered to help Mr Islam recover the debt from his employer on a pro bono basis, TWC2 said.
Mr Islam said he was "very happy" with the help. "The Singapore people (are) good (to me)."
He plans to use the money to buy a plane ticket home next week and save the rest. He also hopes to return here to work again.
"I (have) worked here (since) 1998. I like working here, not all bosses (are) bad," he said.