The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has recently posted a video of Mr Lim Swee Say’s most recent Parliamentary speech titled “How are we managing the inflow of foreign manpower?” and many Singaporeans have viewed the video through its sponsored social media campaign on Facebook.
Mr Lim commented during his parliamentary speech that the policy on the foreign manpower must be well balanced.
He said, “At one extreme, if we try to make up for the drop in local labour force growth by taking in many more foreign workers, the pace of our restructuring will slow. Eventually, we will become overly reliant on foreign manpower and our wages will also stagnate without productivity gain.”
“At the other extreme, if we try to reduce the foreign manpower to zero, zero local labour force growth plus zero foreign manpower growth, will give us zero growth in total labour force. And if labour productivity growth continue to remain at the current level, it will give us zero growth in our GDP. Our economy will also stagnate too.”
Mr Lim said that this is the reason why the Government is transforming the industry for higher productivity gains and at the same time this is why it is adopting a balanced approach in managing the inflow of foreign manpower.
According to Mr Lim, the annual increase in foreign manpower has dropped significantly by more than two-thirds from the last peak of 80,000 in 2011 to about 24,000 in the past two years.
He said that the Government is increasingly more selective in terms of qualifications and experience of the individual foreigners. And at the same time, more importantly, to ensure that the people are treated fairly at all levels.
He also stated that in all industries, the Government has included the adoption of fair and progressive Human Resource practices as part of the work pass criteria.
“So this balanced approach will enable to combine our workforce of locals and foreigners to complement each other better,” he said.
Netizens wrote that the main point of the issue which Mr Lim missed is that the Government continues to allow companies to hire foreign worker for jobs that Singaporeans can easily do for all these years.
Here are what the netizens wrote :
- Sylvester James wrote, “Looks like after all these years. There is still a complete lack of understanding that Singaporeans don’t mind unlimited numbers of labourers (construction workers)because they are usually tucked away at workers dormitories at some obscure corner.
The main peeve is getting a “non-Singaporean” to do jobs that Singaporeans can easily do” (Especially managerial roles – $5k and above).”
- Vincent Chua Chye Huat wrote, “The main reason we Singaporean not willing to take up the jobs is the low pay. Not even enough to survive in the high cost of living in Singapore.
As for employer, if there is cheap labour available, think they want to pay more for a Singaporean?
Remember, there is always FT for every level of the jobs. Be it construction retail, IT, nursing, manager or higher level, always cheaper to get a FT .
Singaporean, male has NS liability, family problem, paternity leave, and minimum pay so they can afford the HDB. Look at housing cost, with S$1000, can you afford a 3 room? That is not even what a construction worker get working 16hour a day.”
- Shen Chan wrote, “Well…lets see….I believe it all starts from the top. Meaning the public sector should only and always hire local Singaporeans first (pink NRIC and those born here in Singapore land). And I mean all layers of the public sector workforce must be a Singaporean. As for the private sector, its all about the policies and loopholes that remains a grey area.”
- Simon Lam wrote, “Hmm… Then is there a thorough scan on their background, qualification and financial capabilities before they are given PR? I observed that those PRCs who can’t really speak English, are either PR or citizen.”
- Yee Meng Kum wrote, “This government only interested in collecting money via levy. self serving and never have any long term planning. LKY era everything was pre-planned and work properly. Now train break down, lift break down, flat corridor at Pasir Ris so narrow yet approved by government. Simple job but still cannot do it properly… Talk Number 1.”
- Judas Nathan wrote, Bro! If not for FT Singapore HDB will be empty. Now almost all filled up and government don’t bother about local anymore. There are many new citizen and it is enough for them to win the election. Come 2020 they will be in power again. We are wasting our time here. Govern hack care true Singaporean. Even Uber is hiring PR. Just look at NUS/NTU how many Foreign student are there. Once they are graduate the university themselves is employing them. Local who has no choice study abroad when return they struggle to find a job here. Bye bye true Singaporean. May god help us.”
- Lee Wei Chiang wrote, “In most countries, there is strict restriction on certain vocation; eg. Human Resource etc. Singapore is a immigrant society and the people is opened to foreign workers. Singaporean did not say zero foreign workers but want it to be controlled and regulated. As earlier forummer has said, we want foreign workers for jobs that Singaporean cannot do but what we see is we are importing many foreigners to take up jobs that Singaporean can and would like to do. Many local employers are using this as a reason for them to import many foreign workers at much lower cost. Such the reason why the productivity is low as they are looking at cost instead of productivity.”
- Jake Lim wrote, “80000 FTs in 2011 that is of various position levels, compared to ‘selectively’ hand picked 24000 jobs of high managerial top positions. Not to mention annually continuous flow of fts taking over high pay jobs. I wonder how average Singaporeans are going to cope with the higher living costs as years goes by.
Sure, GDP growth, whichever growth. But eventually people who see the situation well clearly knows even if Singapore is rich in economy, the people are not. Such as the social problems arising constantly that always has a connections to money; gambling debt, housing, living expenses.
People who earns millions will never understand this, because they wont be affected by it, and secondly they only focus on getting the economy strong, not the people in it.”
- Darren Lim wrote, “Still doesn’t answer the original question.. So you have cut down on inflow but there still is an inflow…. It is like a ship with a hole rather than plugging up the hole you just reduce the flow the ship is still going to sink. How about making your fellow man more capable and spending the cash that way than to invite foreigners and just to watch them leave once they are fed.. it isn’t about Singapore as a nation now it is how much money it can make.”
- Aspa M Hatta wrote, “Please admit that you, the Minister of Manpower, has failed terribly by granting way too many foreigners employment passes & work permits, that some are here on a crime streak, but the government has failed to prevent! Also, why are they holding a much higher position & higher salary when a local could do the same job, but employers unwilling to pay locals a higher salary?? Dear Sir, with all due respect, you, along with your policies, have failed us Singaporeans, BEYOND HORRIBLY.”