A Chinese migrant worker in a dispute with his employer about his right to return home was allowed to do so yesterday after he shocked fellow residents at a Punggol dorm by threatening to jump from its fourth floor.

In a statement confirming the Tuesday incident happened, the Ministry of Manpower said it stemmed from a lack of communication. The PPT Lodge 1B dormitory had been cleared of COVID-19 on July 4 but remained locked down, it said.

“Investigations revealed that the worker purchased a flight ticket to his home country on his own and became agitated when his employer was not facilitative of his return,” the ministry said.

“He is staying in a block that was already cleared on 4 July and could have discussed with his employer if he wanted to leave. However, both parties did not discuss this leading to a dispute,” it added.
Dormitory staff were at the scene when the incident was caught on video and “managed to calm the worker down and resolve the issue after contacting his employer,” the ministry said. The incident was said to take place on the fourth floor of the building.

“The employer was advised to facilitate the worker’s return and complied. The worker will leave Singapore today,” it added.

Images circulating online showed crowds of workers looking on as staff in personal protective equipment spoke to the Chinese migrant worker already at the building’s edge.

Videos showed him sitting and then standing on the railing on the verge of falling.
This article, Chinese man allowed to fly home after threatening to leap from Punggol dorm, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia’s leading alternative media company.

If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact Samaritans of Singapore at 1800 221 4444, or you can email pat@sos.org.sg. You can also find a list of international helplines here.