Four SMRT bus drivers from China charged with instigating strike granted bail

The four SMRT drivers from China charged with instigating last week's strike, have been granted bail.

It is not clear, however, if they will be able to raise the funds to get out of remand before the case against them is mentioned again in court next Wednesday.

Gao Yue Qiang, 32, Liu Xiangying, 33, and Wang Xianjie, 39, have been granted bail of $10,000, while He Jun Ling, 32, who faces a second charge of inciting the strike needs to raise $20,000.

All four have indicated in court that they wish to engage lawyers to represent them, although a Chinese Embassy official told The Straits Times late Wednesday night that legal representation for the men has been arranged.

The four men were among a group of 171 drivers who refused to report for work on Nov 26, and also part of the 88 who stayed away the following day.

They were unhappy about the difference between their wages and those of their Malaysian counterparts.

A fifth former SMRT bus driver, Bao Feng Shan, 38, was on Monday sentenced to six weeks' jail for his role in the strike, while 29 others were sent back to China earlier this week.