At a Progress Singapore Party (PSP) press conference yesterday (14 Jul), it was announced that Mr Leong Mun Wai and Ms Hazel Poa will take up the two Non-Constituency Member of Parliament (NCMP) seats in Parliament following the party’s performance at West Coast GRC in GE 2020 (‘PSP’s Leong Mun Wai speaks in Japanese to media query on Singapore PMETs‘).
Both were former government scholars who left the civil service to work in private sectors.
During the press conference, a Japanese reporter posed a question in Japanese asking about the PMETs (professionals, managers, executives and technicians) in Singapore.
Mr Leong, who is fluent in Japanese replied in Japanese. He later repeated his reply in English for the benefits of the other journalists.
In his reply, Mr Leong said, “There are 400,000 foreign talents in Singapore now (taking up PMET jobs). Among these, I think you can cut down about 10 percent of them.”
“Basically the Singapore government is saying that without Employment Pass (EP), the overall competitiveness will be affected. But we don’t agree. We think a portion of EP and S Pass (SP) can be reduced. For instance, if you reduce 10 percent of these EP and SP, then tens of thousands of job opportunities can be freed up,” he added.
“On this, once we enter the parliament, we will proactively push our cases to the Government.”
Chan wants to continue bring in “foreign talents” and ensure “fair competition”
Meanwhile, in a national broadcast by Minister Chan Chun Sing last month (14 Jun), he talked about how the PAP government will help all to make a living in a COVID-19 world.
in his speech, Chan continued to talk about bringing in “foreign talents” into Singapore.
“We will also intensify the efforts to attract the best ideas and (foreign) talent to compete on our side, and complement our strengths,” he said.
“Initiatives like the Global Innovation Alliance connect us with talent hubs across the world. We will make ourselves a more attractive safe harbour for talent, ideas and intellectual property, to grow more businesses and create better jobs. Competition is intense. Talented people, including our own, can go anywhere.”
He also tried to assure Singaporeans with regard to job competitions from foreigners. He said, “I know many Singaporeans are concerned with foreign competition, but closing ourselves up is not the answer. We cannot escape competing with the world, and proving our mettle.”
“We will give our workers the training and support to excel, and we will ensure that the competition is fair,” he added.
Complementing or replacing?
While Chan talks about bringing in foreign talents to “complement” Singaporeans, cases have been surfacing that companies are bringing in foreigners to replace them instead.
Earlier this year, a Singaporean lady working at an MNC told TOC that she was “unfairly” retrenched in favour of a foreigner (‘MNC’s foreign hiring manager relocates from HK to SG and proceeds to replace SG PMET with HK lady‘).
The Singaporean, who is in her 40s, earned a 5-figure salary in the company. She described herself as “just another local PMET who was retrenched recently from a Multi-National Company (MNC) and being displaced by an FT [foreign talent] who is not any cheaper if not more expensive than me.”
She said, “The FT hiring manager was recently relocated to Singapore from [Hong Kong] and shortly after, he informed me that though my BAU (business as usual) is solid, I had failed to value add.”
However, she noted that this manager did not elaborate nor give specific examples of value-adding, simply saying that he expected her to do more than her BAU. Aggrieved, she slammed the MNC for not having a proper performance appraisal system and for “simply telling people at end of the year that sorry you have under-performed, out you go.”
“I was told I had to go because my role had combined with a lady from HK and she will be relocating from HK to SG to replace me. I asked if he had considered me for that combined role and he said he had appraised and think the HK lady is more suitable,” she told TOC.
It’s not known how Chan is going to assure Singaporeans, when cases like the above are frequently being exposed online as more Singaporeans are getting bolder to report such incidents publicly.