The Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) is looking to make alterations on the immigration policy, stating that the country is allowing “too many foreign workers into Singapore to displace local PMETs (professionals, managers, executives, and technicians).”
In a press release on Saturday (8 June), the party proposed adopting a more careful and judicious approach when it comes to allowing foreigners to secure employment in Singapore.
The proposal, featured in SDP’s policy titled “Building A People: Sound Policies For A Secure Future,” was introduced by a new face in the party, Ms Joyce Tan. One idea that was presented is to implement a points-based system called the ‘Talent Track Scheme’.
Under this system, foreign PMETs who wish to work in Singapore will have to submit an application. After that, their applications will be assessed according to their qualifications, skills, and experience.
Those who meet the required number of points will then be shortlisted. Subsequently, employers will be allowed to hire the foreigners from this pool, but only after providing proof that no Singaporean was available or qualified for the position beforehand.
“This will prevent firms hiring foreigners based solely on their ability to accept lower wages,” said Ms Joyce Tan.
The SDP’s proposal is intended to curb the rising number of Singapore PMETs getting retrenched as a result of local companies continuing to discriminate against local workers.
Additionally, Ms Tan also took issue with the notion that Singapore can accommodate 10 million in population. The notion was emphasized by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Heng Swee Keat during a ministerial dialogue at Nanyang Technological University (NTU) on 29 Mar, where Mr Heng cited that Singapore should plan for 10 million people for it to remain sustainable in the long term.
The argument is that with Singapore having one of the highest population density in the world, the country can ill-afford to grow a population of 10 million by bringing in more foreigners.
In addition, Central Executive Committee (CEC) member Mr Khung Wai Yeen, who presented the proposal with Ms Tan, pointed out that “Singaporeans are one of the unhappiest and most stressed out workers in the world.”
He added that the “PAP’s current approach of cramming more foreigners onto this island is counter-productive” as it does not take into consideration the physical and mental well-being of the people.
Another issue Mr Khung noted was the high cost of living and stressful lifestyle that led to the younger Singaporeans leaving the country or opting to have fewer children.
To address this issue, the SDP has proposed a 10-point plan under another policy titled “A Better Life For All: Keeping The Cost Of Living In Singapore Affordable” to make Singapore less expensive.
“Raising taxes and fees on a slew of items in the last couple of years makes Singapore even more expensive and, hence, exacerbates the problem of a shrinking population,” Ms Tan hinted. “This is why the raising of the GST to 9 percent from the current 7 percent is a bad idea.”
Therefore, the proposal suggests that the Goods and Services Tax (GST) for basic necessities such as food, medicine, and school supplies be abolished.
On another note, further alternative also proposes the removal of race identity in all Identity Cards as it serves only to divide Singaporeans when everyone ought to be fostering unity in one single Singaporean identity.