It was reported that at an Edusave award ceremony in Ang Mo Kio on Saturday and Sunday (4-5 Jan), Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong told everyone that the Singapore’s education system is designed to bring out the best in each student. He also said that education is a vital source to Singapore’s future (‘Education system aimed to bring out the best in each student: PM Lee‘).
“Education is one of the most important things that Singaporeans have,” said PM Lee. “And it is one of the most important things that the Government pays attention to because we believe that through education, we can help our citizens gain skills, learn knowledge, become productive and useful, become good people, and make a living for themselves.”
He presented bursaries and MOE Edusave awards to more than 1,100 students in his Teck Ghee ward, in recognition of their efforts in school. Recipients of bursaries received between S$250 and S$550 while students awarded with the MOE Edusave award received S$200 to S$500. The awards were given out in 2 days.
Singaporean PMET ends up driving Grab
Meanwhile, it has been reported that even younger Singaporean PMETs who have been retrenched couldn’t easily find jobs these days and ended up driving Grab.
For example, Shaun Ow, 39, was working in the private sector for some 11 years in various industries before he was retrenched 4-5 years ago. He then tried to find a job for more than a year before giving up. He ended up driving Grab to make ends meet.
Even Singapore’s former UN Permanent Representative Professor Tommy Koh has shown concerns with regard to displaced Singaporeans ended up driving Grab.
At the Singapore Bicentennial Conference three months ago (1 Oct), Prof Koh cautioned the 4th generation PAP leaders that they should try to make Singapore a more equal society. These include looking into allegations of discriminatory hiring practices and working to make Singapore a classless society. He said, “We should not abandon the displaced workers because we don’t want more and more Singaporeans to become Grab drivers or, worse, to join the ranks of the angry voters.”
“Remember this: It was the angry voters who helped to elect President (Donald) Trump in the United States. It was the angry voters in the United Kingdom who voted to leave the European Union,” he added.
Number of foreign PMETs continues to increase in Singapore
In any case, the Singapore government continues to invite more foreign PMETs to enter into Singapore to work, according to data on MOM website:
The total number of foreign EP and S-Pass holders was 381,300 by end of 2018. In fact, 6 months later by end June 2019, that number had increased to 386,800.
With more foreign PMETs competing with locals for jobs in Singapore, it’s not known if those students who received education awards from PM Lee yesterday will one day end up like Singaporean PMET Shaun Ow, driving Grab for a living. In that case, no education will be necessary – just pass a class 3 driving test will suffice.