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Legislate anti-discriminatory employment practices to promote fair employment opportunities for Singaporeans

by Irene Choo

If we have laws to punish theft as petty as stealing of a bicycle, why don’t we have any laws that prohibit robbing of employment opportunities from the locals?

If we have fines & imprisonment sentences to deter illegal imports of chewing gums, why don’t we have any statuary punishment to fight against the influx of quasi-talents from abroad?

If all the top economies in the world have laws that prohibit and punish discriminatory employment practices against their citizens, why are our workers denied of similar protection?

If non-compliance is not a criminal offence, how effectively can the directives to consider “Singaporean First” be enforced?

If there is no mechanism for protection and redress, how do victims of discrimination seek redressal of grievances?

If victims’ rights are not enshrined in law, how could their basic rights to fair employment be taken seriously?

If an anti-discriminatory law is that detrimental to economic development, why is it enacted in all other top economies?

If an anti-discriminatory law is non-essential, why enhancing equality and countering discrimination continue to be the top agendas in many developed countries?

If an anti-discriminatory law can “make the labour market more rigid, increase business costs and erode Singapore's economic competitiveness” (says the government), won’t the absence of mandatory prohibition handicap our labour force and erode our competency in the long run?

Shouldn’t we have an anti-discriminatory law to promote fair employment opportunities for own citizens, just like our trading partners do?