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“If we just send away the foreign workers now, it will do us harm," says PM Lee.

PM Lee on minority-race PM and foreign workers and retrenchments

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong:

On S’pore having a minority-race Prime Minister:

“Can we one day have a non-Chinese, a Malay-Muslim Prime Minister? It's possible. Will it happen soon? I don't think so because finally you have to win votes and these sentiments. Who votes for whom and what makes him identify with that person? These are sentiments that do not disappear completely for a long time, even if people did not talk about it or even if people wish they did not feel it.

On foreign workers and retrenchments:

“If we just send away the foreign workers now, it will do us harm. For example - companies which are already in difficulty and they hire half foreign workers and half Singaporeans and you tell them that foreign workers must go out. And when you take Singaporeans, his cost will go up and the company may close. And if the company closes, even the half who have jobs may lose their jobs. 

“So I don't think it's that simple. You send out the foreign workers and the Singaporeans will take over the jobs and you get paid more. I think our interest is to protect the Singaporeans and look after the Singaporeans but we must do it intelligently, we cannot just react and do something without thinking.” (Channel NewsAsia)

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