Andrew Loh / Deputy Editor
In his National Day Rally speech in Chinese, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong was quoted by Channel NewsAsia as having said the following about the number of jobs the two Integrated Resorts (IRs) would create:
The two IRs will need another 20,000 workers. They will not be able to recruit Singaporeans to fill all these positions. In fact, they would not have decided to invest here had we required them to recruit only Singaporeans. (Link)
This is quite a turnaround from the 35,000 jobs which Singaporeans were told would be created by the two IRs. In fact, in Parliament on 18 April 2005, Prime Minister Lee himself cited the figure of 35,000:
Altogether MTI estimates that the two IRs will create about 35,000 jobs, counting jobs within the IRs, plus spinoffs throughout the economy. (Link)
This figure of 35,000 jobs was repeated by then-NTUC Chief Lim Boon Heng the next day in Parliament, 19 April 2005:
So this is not an easy decision, but when there are 35,000 jobs, I cannot say no. (Link)
So, the obvious question one would ask is: Why the discrepancy? What happened to the 15,000 jobs (35,000 – 20,000)? Was the projection wrong?