4 years after Parliament passed the infamous Population White Paper, someone from the Government has finally revealed the extent that foreign workers have gained a hold in Singapore — but he said it in India.
Speaking at an economics forum in India last Saturday (July 22), Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam revealed the startling fact that foreigners make up one-third of Singapore’s workforce. Mr Tharman was speaking at the Delhi Economics Conclave held by the Indian Finance Ministry,
He was asked a question about the Singapore Government tightening restrictions on Indian professionals moving to Singapore, The Straits Times reported. His answer was that it would be “mindless to have an open border without any policy framework to govern and constrain the flow of people”. (Incidentally, this is when he noted that a third of Singapore’s workforce is made up of foreigners.)
LOCALS STRUGGLE TO FIND JOBS BUT FOREIGNERS LIVE HIGH LIVES
In the past, the govt kept saying we need to import foreigners to do jobs Singaporeans don’t want to do; especially in F&B, construction, retail, cleaners and menial jobs.
Using this reason, millions of foreigners were imported not just for these jobs Singaporeans want to do but also professional jobs Singaporeans want to do.
With extremely high local unemployment, many locals with qualifications are forced to be underemployed or unemployed or driving private taxis or taxis.
“Foreign workers help create good jobs for S’poreans: PM”
I refer to the reports “Foreign workers help create good jobs for S’poreans: PM” (Straits Times, 22 April) and “Foreign workers help to create more good jobs for Singaporeans: PM”.
The former states that:
“In his speech, Mr Lee [Hsien Loong] noted that six in 10 of the employees are ‘Singaporeans and permanent residents’. Singapore residents also take up two-thirds of the managerial and professional positions…”Given the remarks at the end of the report – that the “Government’s foreign worker policy could emerge as a hot-button issue this election as some believe that it has hurt residents’ job prospects and depressed wages” – I find it somewhat strange that even at this eleventh hour before the elections, the Prime Minister is still using “Singaporeans and permanent residents (PRs)” statistics.
Singapore tightens rules on foreign workers
Singapore Monday announced tighter rules on the hiring of foreign professional workers, saying companies will from next year have to show proof they first tried to recruit local citizens.
The change, taking effect in August 2014, follows protests and online complaints about the large number of foreigners in the affluent city-state.
The Ministry of Manpower said companies that discriminate against citizens "will be subject to additional scrutiny" when they apply for employment passes for foreign professionals.
Two thirds of jobs created went to foreigners
Lim Hng Kiang has quoted some numbers on jobs created over the last 5 years and how many of these jobs went to locals and foreigners. He said, ‘In the last five years, we have been generating something like 120,000 jobs a year, of which 40,000 are Singaporeans and we end up with 80,000 foreign workers. Going forward we have decided that this is no longer tenable over a long term.’
In summary, over the last 5 years 600,000 jobs were created and only 120,000 went to Singaporeans. Could the numbers be extrapolated backwards for a 10 year period and could the number be 1.2m jobs created with 400,000 going to locals and 800,000 going to foreigners? How long has this ratio of employment favouring foreigner been going on that Hng Kiang now realised that it is unsustainable and must be stopped?
Parliament endorses Population White Paper by 77 votes to 13
Close to 6pm, Madam Speaker of Parliament Haalimah Yaacob called the House to a vote.
WP leader Low Thia Kiang stunned those in attendance by standing up to ask the Speaker for a division to the motion, effectively meaning the House could not decide to pass the paper by a verbal vote. The House doors were then locked and the assembly took to an electronic vote.
The nine Workers' Party MPs and NCMPs, Lina Chiam, along with Nominated Members of Parliament Janice Koh, Faizah Jamal and Laurence Lien all voted against the motion, while 77 voted in favour.