While Singapore is known for not having a minimum wage, one can quickly gauge the average part-time hourly rate by observing the job market or talking with peers and acquaintances.
This reveals a rough estimate of around $8 to $12 per hour.
This range typically applies to part-time roles in the retail and food & beverage (F&B) sectors.
However, this poses another question: What about those who work in unconventional jobs, particularly those whose job scopes are distinct from traditional retail, F&B, or corporate jobs?
Specifically, we’re talking about individuals working in the sex industry.
It’s widely known that sex work can be a highly lucrative field, as seen by the success of OnlyFans creators and their subsequent endeavours into other business ventures after capitalising on their work in the sex industry.
If you expect a three to four-figure amount for a sex worker’s hourly rate, a recent incident in Singapore saw a sex worker being paid a mere $2.
S’porean Jailed for Paying $2 to Sex Worker Instead of the $700-Per-Hour Rate
Well, how did that happen?
A Singaporean man had engaged with an Australian sex worker who happened to be in Singapore for a holiday.
The woman had a rate of $700 per hour for her services, but when the time came to settle the payment, the man shockingly offered her just $2.
To put it into perspective, paying a sex worker the same amount as you would for an ice cream cup from your neighbourhood ice cream uncle is not only dehumanising but also dishonest.
The 40-year-old man in question, later identified as Abdul Rahman A Karim, received a three-year jail sentence and an additional 71 days in jail for violating his remission order on Tuesday (31 October).
As reported by CNA, it seems that Rahman is a repeat offender when it comes to not paying sex workers after engaging with their services, and this incident wasn’t his first offence in this regard.
Not The First Time It Happened
Rahman has a history of failing to honour his agreements with sex workers.
The court revealed that Rahman had previously received a 32-month jail sentence for a similar offence, employing the same tactic of enticing a sex worker to provide services and subsequently not following through on payment.
While he was out on parole in November 2022 after serving his previous sentence, Rahman made contact with his most recent victim, a 35-year-old Australian sex worker.
How It Went Down
The woman said that she typically operated her services in Melbourne and advertised her rates on a website, where she charged $700 per hour for her services and $750 per hour for “outcall situations”.
On 14 November 2022, the Australian victim travelled alone to Singapore for a holiday, with plans to return to Australia after ten days.
She had indicated on her website that she was “currently touring in Singapore.”
Around 10am on 23 November 2022, Rahman reached out to her via WhatsApp, expressing his interest in availing her services.
The victim then conveyed her rates to him. However, instead of responding directly to her messages regarding the fees, Rahman continued discussing the logistics of their meeting.
Ultimately, they agreed that Rahman would visit the room where the victim was staying.
After engaging in sexual activity, the victim requested the payment of the agreed-upon $700, to which Rahman suddenly claimed that they hadn’t settled on the rates and refused to fulfil his payment obligation.
Instead, Rahman handed her a mere $2 note.
Despite the victim’s persistence in demanding the full sum, Rahman disregarded her.
He left the premises, even when the victim attempted to stop him.
Victim Contacted the Australian High Commission and Project X
Following the incident, the victim reached out to the Australian High Commission and contacted Project X, a non-profit organisation dedicated to assisting sex workers, before proceeding to file a police report.
In an attempt to evade responsibility, Rahman deleted the messages discussing the agreed-upon rates from his phone to create the impression that no agreement had been reached.
He thought he could get away with it this time around, but he didn’t.
However, the complete conversation was securely retained on the victim’s phone.
During the legal proceedings, the prosecutor sought a sentence of 38 to 40 months imprisonment for Rahman, highlighting the striking resemblance between this case and his prior conviction.
In both instances, Rahman had intentionally lured sex workers into providing their services while harbouring no genuine intention of making payment.