A failed joint venture company has left its 75 former employees at least S$100,000 of unpaid salaries in overtime and commissions. Two corporations, Leisure Empire and Global Yellow Pages, had a joint venture company, Singapore River Explorer, that provided river cruise and taxi services. It later went bankrupt and about 40 ex-employees, consisting of Singaporeans and foreigners, went up to Leisure Empire building today (Jan 9) to demand their salaries.

The director of Leisure Empire, Nelson Goh, however refused to issue the cheques because he claimed that the joint OCBC bank account that he had with Global Yellow Pages have been frozen and that he doesn’t know how much money is left in the account.

The director then called the Singapore Police up who did nothing for the ex-employees, and demanded the angry crowd to be dispersed from the building. Singapore’s only legalised union NTUC did not comment on the matter and neither was the Ministry of Manpower involved.

Singapore have a poor record of employment rights and cases like unpaid salaries are often overlooked by the Singapore authorities, who would prefer “private settlement” between the disputed parties that takes months to settle the issue than issuing direct orders of demands to the employers.