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Taxi in China town, Singapore with taxi markings visible and selective focus from Shutterstock.com

Jobs as taxi drivers should be reserved for Singaporeans as last line of defence

by William Lim

What jobs are left for Singaporeans right now? Practically zero!

Previously, the taxi industry is meant for Singaporeans only. But with the third party apps coming along, Land Transport Authority (LTA) allows Permanent Residents (PRs) or even foreigners to drive , but of course, it comes with a condition – The driver cannot be self-employed and it must be employed by the company.

So is it feasible for them to drive in Singapore? Yes, it can be... but at what cost?

For PRs, they can join a company at anytime but provided:

1) their existing company they are working agreeable depending on their contract or currently not working
2) who is going to foot the 37% of the CPF contribution? If driver going to foot the bill, then what's left for him?

As for foreigners, they can drive so long they are able to get a Work Permit to drive. But how easy to get the permit? Is everyone's guess.

There's a loophole and I have highlighted it before.

1) when a PR drives for a company as employee, it basically increases the quota limit for the company to employ foreigners as drivers. That is to say, it is also very much depend on how Ministry of Manpower (MOM) approves the applications.

Having said so much, I still feel, the taxi and third party apps provider services should be kept for Singaporeans only.

Reason being,

1) These services should be the last line of defense for Singaporeans.
2) Singaporeans who have better road knowledge than anyone else.
3) PRs are here to increase the economical output for singapore. Presumably they have no loyalty to Singapore at all unless they become new citizens. Why should we let Singaporeans be robbed of their livelihood? PRs should have better economical value than just driving here.

Having said that, the scheme just started on July 2017, everything is waiting to be seen. However, I hope MOM to be able and willing to present a detail breakdown of the manpower for the taxi industry in due course.

Lim is a full-time taxi driver of six-years with Bachelor of Business (Economic and Finance)