Auxiliary officers patrolling at Little India (2014)

Unease of public on having Taiwanese APOs to guard security locations in Singapore

Minister for Home Affairs K Shanmugam stated in a Parliament written answer that the government will allow Auxiliary Police Forces (APFs) to recruit Taiwanese Auxiliary Police Officers (APOs) and be deployed at land checkpoints along with Singaporean APOs.

He was responding to questions filed by MP for West Coast GRC Patrick Tay Teck Guan who asked the Minister for Home Affairs what are the manpower challenges facing the auxiliary Police forces and what are the Ministry’s considerations when allowing the deployment of foreign auxiliary Police officers at security sensitive locations.

The minister stated that there is a rising demand of APOs, however, Singaporean and Malaysian APOs could not satisfy the numbers.

Many members of public have since commented on the issue, asking how would foreigners protect the country like Singaporeans do and should the government raise the salary so as to attract Singaporeans for the job.

Henry Townshend wrote, ‘Raise the salary and see what happen,don’t always whine you don’t have enough workforce all the time.”

Suresh Kumar wrote, ‘Checkpoint security using Taiwanese national? I love my Government.
What’s next? RSAF & RSN, Taiwanese too?”

Tan Ah Kow wrote, “Can we replace our ministers with foreigners as well? They are cheaper and hence better right?”

Arnold Huang wrote, “Increase the pay and the locals will apply. Same logic as ministers – increase the pay lah.”

Shaffii Tay wrote, “You want Singaporean, easy. Pay us the right salary or generously for that repetitive duties and I’m sure many will come flocking.”

Shabilah Akbar wrote, “Now more and more foreigners are working in Singapore in almost all fields. What makes you think the Taiwanese are going to be protective about Singapore’s security and it’s citizen’s well being?”

Herman Zain wrote, “They purposely won’t raise the salaries so they can hire foreigners and keep their pockets full of levy payment. Think we are all stupid. Ministers are only rich in Singapore. Citizens all dirt poor. Land installation put foreigners to guard? Might as well put Taiwanese as ministers in Parliament la bodoh. What logic is this Shanmugam?”

Hidayat Hassan wrote, “Army, Air Force, Navy sensitive posts cannot hire Singaporean Malays. But can hire foreigners for security sensitive jobs. Amazing!”

Desmond Goh wrote, “Getting foreigner to protect our own country!!? This is ridiculous. Remember what LKY once said, if we don’t protect our own land, we else will. This is the lesson learnt from WWII.”

Morhan Karup wrote, “Keep the salary Low for the past 20 or so years. And expect Singaporeans to suck up !!!! And then cite that no one to take up the job !! Force Singaporeans not to accept the job – then bring F(T) to garner vote. And to maintain the 70% ethnic mix? This was the Country I ‘would’ have died for generations ago.”

Roger Tan wrote, “The problem is the salary issue. Same salary for Singaporeans and others but foreigners do not need to deduct CPF at all, only know how to whine and complain but don’t reflect themselves what went wrong. Nowadays people rather to be drivers of private hire vehicle (maybe $5,000 to $6,000 per month) conpared to $2,000 to $3,000 as this.”

Harry Tqh wrote, “Went Shangri-la and Fullerton for interview. Only willing to pay $1600-$1800 for front desk executive with no prior experience. Telling me I get commission if I upsell the room to customers. And I am a degree holder and 25 years old working previously in a bank. Total waste of time. This is how pathetic we young locals are to them.”

TanLeng ChrisJoelle wrote, “All Singaporeans who wants to be APO but need /wants high paper certification. Then those mid career change no paper only toilet paper certification gives them a low salary and exploit them with other non-essential responsibility. Don’t ever forget those also who are old veteran who had serve national service and beholden to oath to protect Singapore. Now you want to get Taiwan people? Don’t make sense.”

Airis AB wrote, “How lame is that?!? You’d rather employ non citizens to guard our island than pay living wage to our own people!!! The very people who would invest, pay taxes and spend money on this island which they protect thus perpetuating a healthy economy, elevating further the socio-economic level! And who knows increase the population in the long run! I really wonder who you are working for??? Because despite the enormous salary coming from us citizens paying taxes, you don’t seem to be interested representing us, the people of Singapore!”

Patrick Sun wrote, “This is how authorities work in the whole world. That’s why in Chinese writing for the word Government officer (官) had two mouth (口) in it. Means they can say whatever they want at anytime and any situations.”

Daryl Low wrote, “I am getting more and more worried about our future. Trying to make friends with China and guarding the border with Taiwanese. Omg.”

Marcus Yee wrote, “It’s not about what nationality of APOs they recruit but why are our own sovereignty and in the nation’s interest our borders guarded by foreigners?
And I agree with some comments here, can the government do the same for our national service obligations too? What a joke!”

Kenny Koh wrote, “That is always the case. Willing to paid outsider more, but not willing to pay local Singaporean. If you are willing to pay me $2750 as Taiwanese. I am willing to work too, better then now i m earning less.”

Some stated that it is better to just hire Gurkha than Taiwanese as they are more trained.

Shuvam Mahadeva wrote, ‘It’s better to use Gurkha’s then Taiwanese.”

Rijam Rahaman Gurung wrote, “When entering Tuas Checkpoint. “Welcome to Taiwan”.
Deploy the Gurkha Contingent. They have been formed since 1949. They have adapted well in Singapore with most able to speak Chinese, Malay, Hindi apart from their Nepali language. They have been with us when the racial riots between the Malay and European communities broke out over the disputed custody of Maria Hertogh. The GC troopers were again activated when major rioting erupted all over the country between the ethnic Malays and Chinese on Prophet Mohammed’s birthday from 21 July 1964. Their presence in throughout Singapore’s history and their loyalty, vigilance and ability to bring order and peace is very much a good candidate for Tuas Checkpoint and maintaining it’s security there.”

Alex Sim wrote, “Do a check on the low ranking APOs and those who got promotion fast on how many are PR or new citizens compared to locals. The company itself got some issue going wrong already, how does local gonna last long there? I rather let my country be protected by out loyal Gurkhas than other nationalities.”

Robert Ridzuandowski wrote, “Jialat sia. Don’t know if it’s safe to get them to jaga our borders. While I understand the need to outsource it given our declining population, but the government need to explain why they choose to get the Tawainese and what is the cost of hiring them. I rather have robots or the Gurkhas protecting our borders.”