In a parliamentary speech yesterday (31 Aug), West Coast GRC MP Ang Wei Neng recounted for the first time that he felt “like a foreigner in my own country” when he visited Changi Business Park prior to the coronavirus pandemic.
He said that when he entered a lift, he noticed that the “well-dressed” people around him were “apparently foreigners” and speaking in a language foreign to him.
It was the first time he had felt “like a foreigner in my own country”, he added.
Ang also asked if it was “too easy for foreign talents to work in Singapore”. He highlighted one instance when he was having lunch with the head of a delivery company, a subsidiary of a German MNC, who was a Frenchman in his 30s.
The Frenchman told Ang that it would be difficult for him to find a similar opportunity in France due to the high unemployment rate. The Frenchman continued by saying that many of his expat friends felt the same way too, that it was easier for them to look for a good job in Singapore.
Ang argued that he believed Singaporeans can fill these regional or senior management positions which are currently filled by foreigners. He stressed that the Singaporean core should be safeguarded across all industries, and not just the financial sector.
Ang became PAP MP in 2011
Ang was first elected as a member of parliament (MP) for the Jurong GRC in 2011. Since then, he has been a member of the Government Parliamentary Committee for Education and Transport since 2011. He is also the Chairman of Jurong-Clementi Town Council and a member of the Public Accounts Committee since 2016. Prior to that, he was a member of the Estimates Committee from 2011-2015.
In the 2020 GE, Ang was moved from Jurong GRC to contest in West Coast GRC against Progress Singapore Party (PSP). Ang and his team nearly lost to PSP, barely beating PSP with a vote share of 51.7% to win at West Coast GRC.
Ang was a scholar with the Singapore Police Force (SPF). He helped set up the Police Psychological Unit in SPF as well as served as Head of Operations in a Police land division. In 2004, he joined SBS Transit Ltd and was Head of Bus Operations before joining ComfortDelGro Taxi Business as CEO in 2017.
In fact, as far back as 2011, the year Ang first became an MP, Changi Business Park was already jokingly referred to as “Chennai Business Park” by netizens online.
A blogger wrote, “By the way, do you know that Changi Business Park is now jokingly referred to as ‘Chennai Business Park’? Let me tell you – in the end, the joke’s going to be on us. When the Chinese and the Indians over run our land and make us strangers in our own country, we won’t be the ones laughing, ok?”
And yet, it took Ang 9 years to realise that Changi Business Park are full of foreigners speaking in a language foreign to him and making him feel “like a foreigner in my own country”.