The Economic Development Board (EDB) and Enterprise Singapore announced yesterday (30 July) that foreign PMETs looking to work in Singapore as “core team members” of technology companies might have more flexible requirements over the application of their Employment Pass (EP).
EDB and Enterprise Singapore will help “facilitate” easier entry of foreign PMETs to become “core team members” of technology companies operating in Singapore. Qualifying companies will have the EP applications of their core team members “facilitated” by the 2 government agencies so that they can get the “talent” they need.
Founder and CEO Sinuhe Arroyo of a tech company said, “Timely onboarding of the right talents is critical to our success in developing world-class AI solutions as well as seizing market opportunities. Entry facilitation for core team members will expedite this onboarding process.”
Foreign talents with “deep skills” but no qualifications can be considered too

But both EDB and Enterprise Singapore did not detail how EP applications for foreign talent will be different for these companies.
When asked by the media to elaborate, an EDB spokesman said manpower flexibilities for the applications of some team members will be provided, if needed.
“This includes considering alternative factors in the application if needed, such as the stock options remuneration of the core team members, or if they have deep skills in place of formal academic qualifications,” said the spokesman.
It’s also not known if the government would excuse these companies from advertising on the National Jobs Bank.
Under the current ruling, companies which want to employ “foreign talents” on EP to work in Singapore must advertise the job position on Jobs Bank for 2 weeks so as to give Singaporeans a chance to be considered for the job first.
In any case, many netizens have commented that the Jobs Bank is a “joke” since companies which are bend on hiring foreigners could easily give all kinds of excuse not to hire Singaporeans.
In the announcement, Chng Kai Fong, Managing Director of EDB, said that the programme will not only give tech companies the “confidence to hire the tech talent they need, but will also create exciting opportunities for Singaporeans to work in globally competitive teams alongside top engineers and entrepreneurs from all over the world. This will enable Singapore to upskill our local talent pool to root more technology companies here and grow the sector.”
But of course, MD Chng might have forgotten that if these tech companies can easily “hire-their-own-kind” from abroad with a much relaxed EP application process, why would they even bother to hire Singaporeans so as to “create exciting opportunities” for Singaporeans to work alongside with their people?
Hiring own kind
This has happened before. In 2013, then Manpower Minister Tan Chuan Jin told Parliament:

First, “hiring-their-own-kind”, or unfair hiring practices. We have heard anecdotes of how in certain cases, heads of business units or HR managers have a preference for candidates they are familiar with or of the same nationality, for reasons that are irrelevant to job performance and irrespective of whether they are more competent than other candidates.
We have also heard of situations where Singaporeans were retrenched or made to resign in the name of down-sizing, only to realise later that their positions were given to foreigners, who were coincidentally from the same countries as the business heads.
Let me be quite blunt. Would these practices not sound discriminatory? Would any respectable progressive company endorse these practices? If this hiring is indeed because they care only about choosing familiar candidates and not about hiring the “best man for the job”, then such practices have no place in Singapore’s workplaces. Discrimination will not and cannot be tolerated. Stating the principle however does not mean it is easy to implement.
I think we all recognise that proving discrimination is sometimes difficult. It is not always possible to discern whether such hiring practices are legitimately based on the objective requirements of the job or motivated by personal connections. We all know how “guanxi” works. I know that Singaporeans perceive some outcomes to be against the principles of meritocracy and fairness, and I fully understand why we feel angry in the process.

So, if a tech company can now flood its “core team” with foreigners but exclude any Singaporeans, how can Singapore upskill our local talent pool, MD Chng?

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
You May Also Like

PTC to review public transport fare adjustment formula and mechanism

The Public Transport Council (PTC) announced that it has commenced the review…

Shuffle of appointments in the Council of Presidential Advisers as its chairman retires

Mr Eddie Teo will be appointed to be the new Chairman of…

严燕松吁降低保健储蓄使用限制 助年长者偿还医疗费用

医疗费用向来是国人关注的课题之一,其高额医疗费用更是成为国人沉重的负担,尤其是长期与慢性疾病抗争的患者或老人。 阿裕尼选区议员严燕松呼吁,政府降低保健储蓄的使用限制,帮助年长者减少以现金偿还的医疗费用。 严燕松于本月4日的国会发言中,以中文演说提到,许多居民曾向他抱怨有关昂贵的医疗费用,甚至因高额医疗费用而选择不复诊,导致病情恶化。 “一旦病患的病情恶化到必须住院的情况,不管是对病患或者是对我们的医疗系统来说,负担都会增加。” 为此,他也提议将所有其他慢性疾病一并列入保健储蓄的可知支付项目中,并让60岁以上的年长者免去提款限额,以此减轻年长者的医疗费用负担。 国人受苦于高医疗费用 高额医疗费用在我国一直都是争议不断的课题,网络上也不时看见受医疗费用影响的案例。尽管我国的医疗服务水平获得世界的认可(新加坡中央医院(SGH)因其临床研究和卓越的护理服务,被美国《新闻周刊》(Newsweek)评选为全球第三最佳医院),然而却伴随着高医疗消费,让人民叫苦连天。 根据世界银行的数据,我国的医疗自付医疗费用竟高达36.7巴仙。虽然透过政府津贴和增加健保计划(Medishield)赔额,上述占比有所下降,但人民的自付率仍高于其他国家。 工人党不仅一次提及有关高额医疗费用的问题,工人党成员陈贞贞曾在本届大选期间呼吁,调低自付额和共同承担额,并不设限10万元额度,以确保人民能够负担其医药费。 她当时表示,坊间一直流传“能死不能病”,人民生活愈发困苦,尽管终生健保能够给付大部分医药费,但其设限在10万元,与此同时,病人仍需承担多达10巴仙的费用。 淡马亚也曾表示,目前保健储蓄户头(Medisave)、全民健保費用(MediShield Life)、保健基金(MediFund)均仅占整体医疗费用的15巴仙,而剩下的医疗费用则交由政府补助、雇主自主和自付,而后两者所需付的费用也愈来愈高,因此新加坡需要一个简简单单的通用支付系统。

Board Director of Temasek’s subsidiary ok with Hyflux CEO getting large remuneration

Two months ago, the Securities Investors Association (Singapore), or SIAS, raised questions…