Human resource departments in firms in Singapore should be led by Singaporeans, and must abide by regulations to prioritise hiring Singaporeans especially entry-level applicants, said Progress Singapore Party (PSP)’s Taufik Supan.
Mr Taufik, an IT professional, in a PSP Malay Community Dialogue last month emphasised the importance of affirmative action not only for Malays, but also for Singaporeans as a whole in the process of hiring.
Noting that the Malay community “is a community full of talents, but are sometimes underappreciated or overlooked”, Mr Taufik said that it is “disheartening [to observe] that our community is often sidelined”.
“We are often underrepresented in many fields, and this is evident in several agencies, particularly the armed forces,” he said.
Mr Taufik questioned if the issue lies in the relative “undereducation” of Malays in Singapore in general compared to other races. He raised the issue of the government’s decision to grant many scholarships to foreign students instead of local students with the same capabilities.
Malays in Singapore, he said, must foster the “spirit of cooperation among one another, as our race is small in numbers here”.
“[Members of] a minority race such as ours who are able to climb the corporate ladder must guide others in the community,” said Mr Taufik.
However, this does not mean that the Malay community should segregate or separate itself from other races in Singapore, he stressed.
Instead, Malays — in the context and the context of higher rates of unemployment in the community compared to other races — should be more involved in community and nation-building, given the Malay community’s position as one of the four main races in Singapore, said Mr Taufik.
The positioning of Singapore in the Nusantara region — surrounded by Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei — can also serve as a gateway for Singaporean Malays to improve the community’s economic status in the nation, he said.
“Many don’t realise that Malays widely populate this region … Plenty of opportunities await us. We have to brave ourselves to take the leap to grow a new economy for us and to build networks with our counterparts across the Nusantara region,” Mr Taufik opined.
PSP, he said, aims to assist small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Singapore in its goal towards nation-building.
In a previous PSP session on 11 June, Mr Taufik proposed the doubling of ComCare payouts to the underprivileged.
ComCare, a fund under the Ministry of Social and Family Development, serves to provide social assistance to low-income individuals and families to make ends meet.
Mr Taufik added that the incentives given under ComCare will act as a “social trampoline” and not just as a safety net, which will allow 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,” he added.
Mr Taufik is contesting in the Nee Soon group representation constituency.