Protesters at Hong Lim Park yesterday spoke up against the government’s pro-foreigner policies and the high influx of foreign workers, called for the protection of the rights of Singaporean workers. At the event organised by Gilbert Goh, speakers cited cases where Singaporeans have lost jobs to foreigners, particularly those who are professionals, managers, executives and technicians (PMETs). Speakers also clarified that they are not xenophobic. Protesters also did not deface a poster of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, after the police issued a warning for them not to do so.
The government will support ongoing tripartite discussions to extend the re-employment age beyond 65, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at the May Day Rally yesterday morning. PM Lee said that the government aims to amend the Retirement and Re-employment Act over time. He also said that union leaders have indicated to him that older workers wanted to continue working beyond 65 with the “same job, same pay”. However, he urged them to be prepared instead to do “suitable jobs, with reasonable pay”, media reported.
While acknowledging that there were problems with matters like housing and public transport, Secretary-General of the National Trades Union Congress Lim Swee Say applauded the efforts of the everyday Singaporean worker in keeping the country going, at a speech delivered at the May Day Rally yesterday. “Every day, there are hundreds and thousands of workers from all collars, all ages and all nationalities working hard and working smart behind the scenes, so that things can go right for all of us,” he was reported as saying.