While speaking at Progress Singapore Party’s (PSP) third outreach session via Facebook Live yesterday (11 June), 40-year-old member of the party Taufik Supan said that PSP will look into helping the Malay community in the country progress by proposing a number of new ideas.
He said this while answering a question raised by a member of the public who wanted to know how PSP would be different from other political parties in terms of representing the Malay community.
Mr Taufik said that the Malay community has progressed well over the last 30 years, but his only concern is that the pace of progression is not as fast as other ethnic groups.
“The Malay community is still lacking behind in terms of education level and our numbers are quite high in terms of poverty. This issue needs to be addressed,” the IT professional noted.
Therefore, he said that PSP is proposing to double the ComCare payout to the underprivileged. For those who are unaware, ComCare is a fund under the Ministry of Social and Family Development to provide social assistance to low-income individuals and families to make ends meet.
He added that with the incentives given under the ComCare, it will act as a “social trampoline” and not just as a safety net, hence allowing people to take care of their basic needs.
“PSP is also studying into introducing a reasonable living wage as a general wage policy after the COVID-19 situation has stabilised. It is a wage policy that is high enough to maintain a normal standard of living,” Mr Taufik added.
If that’s not all, the PSP member also stated that the Government needs to stop inviting and funding foreigners to study in Singapore with all their education fees and expenses sponsored. Instead, he said that the money should be used to invest in Singaporeans.
“I really cannot register in my head that we bring in students from other countries and sponsor them to study here. Why are we not doing the same to our people? They are the sons and daughters of Singapore,” Mr Taufik expressed.
As someone who identifies as a “typical Singaporean” and comes from a middle-class family who had to push his way up, Mr Taufik said that he had to work different odd jobs during the day and attend night classes in order to get his degree.
As such, he pointed out that it breaks his heart to see local Singaporeans who decide to not pursue their tertiary education as they don’t have enough money to fund the high cost of education in Singapore.
“It should be the responsibility of the government to take care of education in Singapore. Instead of taking care of foreign students, our government should take care of our own,” he said.
He added that more people are expected to be displaced in their jobs, and this is why “we should act responsibly and immediately control the floodgate of foreign talents”.
“If there is any job out there, it should be given to Singaporeans first. The well-being of Singaporeans should be taken care of.”
Government made Singaporeans believe that they are not talented as compared to foreign talents
When asked to comment about the current situation in regards to foreigners competing with local professionals, managers, executives and technicians (PMETs), Mr Taufik explained his personal encounter when he first entered the workforce back in the early 2000s.
He said that as someone who is in the IT field which is dominated by foreign talents, Mr Taufik was somehow made to believe back then that all foreigners are extremely talented and the country needs them as Singapore does not have its own talents.
“What amuses me even more back then was I felt that they have created the impression to foreigners that we (Singaporeans) are useless, and our government does not believe that we are good enough,” he asserted.
He added, “But if you think hard again, how on earth we being a first world country, with an education system which we claim is better than theirs, made us useless and they are more talented than us? This is something that I cannot process.”
Mr Taufik said that based on his own personal experience as well as after talking to people on the ground during the circuit breaker period, he thinks that bringing in foreign talents is not a problem as long as they come in to fill in the gaps where Singapore is lacking. They should also be brought in to “transfer the knowledge to us and to create jobs for us”.
However, that’s not happening right now and there are even news that some foreign talents receive bogus salary increases, Mr Taufik noted.
If that’s not bad enough, these foreigners are hired based on personal connection and not solely on their merits, and some of them even recruit individuals from their own country to fill up roles in the company, he added.
“We Singaporeans are also forced to accept lower pay and our wages are really being depressed so I think it has made us feel like second place (and) it is only natural that Singaporeans feel this discontentment,” he opined.
You can watch the full session here: