It was reported in the media today (7 Aug) that a bank executive at an international bank had recounted that her trading floor is crowded with employees from a “particular Asian country”, including their family members.
“How is it possible that (they) are almost always the best person for the job or a promotion?” she told the media.
Another person, a recruiter at a HR company, revealed that not a single Singaporean was hired through the Jobs Bank in the past three years she worked there. Half her division, she added, was made up of foreigners.
The Manpower Ministry (MOM) announced on Wednesday (5 Aug) that another 47 companies with suspected discriminatory hiring practices have been placed on its Fair Consideration Framework (FCF) watchlist.
Of the 47 companies, 30 (64 per cent) are in the financial and professional services sectors. They include banks, fund management firms, management consulting companies, as well as firms that provide project management and engineering services.
MOM revealed that all 30 of the financial and professional services employers have a “high concentration of PMETs from single nationalities”.
German Chamber of Industry and Commerce: Companies may go elsewhere to find talents
Meanwhile, the American Chamber of Commerce in Singapore commented that it’s hard to find soft skills, including adaptability, willingness to take risks, creativity and leadership skills in Singaporean workers. This led American companies to hire foreigners, it said.
Singapore International Chamber of Commerce chief executive Victor Mills felt that Singapore will never produce enough talent on its own. But he did acknowledge that it is “completely unacceptable in any country” to recruit from only one nationality.
Singaporean-German Chamber of Industry and Commerce council member Alexander Melchers cited shortage of skilled local workers in the aviation sector. He added that if a German wealth management firm sets up office here, German clients would tend to be more comfortable dealing with Germans. This means it must have German speakers on board.
“We need to be very specific about where we can afford to reduce the EPs (Employment Passes) or S Passes, and where we have enough training institutes and talent that can pick up the skills fast enough, so we don’t stop the growth of these companies,” Mr Melchers said.
“Otherwise, they may go somewhere else where they can find these talents.”
“Particular Asian country” refers to India?
So far, the media and the government did not want to reveal the name of the country where “high concentration” of its PMETs have come to work in Singapore.
But on CNA Facebook page, netizens were already speculating that the named country is likely to be India:
The discriminatory practices by foreign hiring managers have been ongoing for awhile. Many Singaporeans have been making regular complaints to MOM. It’s only in recent times that the PAP government has stepped up enforcement, especially now that the ruling party has just lost 2 GRCs in the recent general election.