Taiwanese APOs: Same basic pay, but $16m CPF savings?

PHOTO: TIFFANY GOH ST FILEPHOTO: TIFFANY GOH ST FILE

Singaporean auxiliary police officers paid more than foreigners

I refer to the article “Singaporean auxiliary police officers are paid more than foreigners, says Certis Cisco” (Straits Times, Dec 30).

It states that “Following the announcement that private security firm Certis Cisco is looking to recruit Taiwanese nationals to fill the need for auxiliary police officers (APOs) in Singapore, the company has come forward to dispel speculation that it is paying foreigners more than locals.

In a press release to the media, a company spokesman said: “Certis Cisco would like to state categorically that (it) offers a higher salary package to Singaporean APOs as compared to the Taiwanese.”

An advertisement for the role on a Taiwanese job portal said that successful candidates will get a monthly salary of NT$60,000 (S$2,700) and a S$4,000 bonus. They receive S$2,000 upon joining and S$2,000 upon completing the two-year contract.

In comparison, Singaporean APOs are offered a bonus of $15,000. They receive $5,000 upon joining and $10,000 when they complete a three-year contract.

S’poreans 3 O-level, Taiwanese degree holders

Singaporeans with three O-level passes can qualify for appointment as corporals, while Taiwanese must possess recognised university degrees to be eligible for the same rank.

Same basic salary of $2,575, but no CPF?

Since “the basic salary for Singaporean and Taiwanese corporals is also the same, at $2,575” – and foreigners do not have to contribute to CPF – let’s estimate how much the employer may save employing a foreigner, instead of a Singaporean.

As I understand that the typical working hours for APOs is 12 hours a day for six days a week – the gross pay including overtime may be about $4,900 (estimate) a month.

$882 CPF saving per month?

Consequently, the savings for the employer on the employer CPF contribution of 18 per cent is about $882 a month.

$1.3m CPF saving per year?

Multiply this by the 120 Taiwanese APOs – and the yearly cost saving is about $1,270,080 ($882 x 12 months x 120).

How many Malaysian APOs?

In this connection, with regard to “Certis Cisco currently employs more than 3,500 APOs, all of whom are Singaporean or Malaysian” – how many are Malaysians?

Since the maximum number of Malaysians allowed for a total of 3,500 is 1,400 – let’s assume that the number of Malaysians is 1,400. Actually, the number may be more as the foreign workers’ quota is based on the total workforce in a company – not the number of APOs.

$15m CPF saving per year?

So, the yearly CPF cost saving for “Malaysian APOs” may be about $14,817,600 ($882 x 12 months x 1,400).

$16m CPF saving per year?

Add this amount to the Taiwanese APO’s CPF cost saving of $1,411,200 – and the total saving a year is about $16,087,680 ($14,817,600 + $1,270,080).

More than $16m CPF saving per year as NSmen higher pay?

Moreover, since “additionally, a Singaporean APO with National Service experience will also have an NS allowance” – the CPF cost saving may be even higher, because of the higher pay of NSmen.

If most of the APOs are males – then the CPF cost saving may also be higher.

NSmen reservist training issues?

Also, the employer would not have to deal with manpower scheduling problems, when NSmen go for reservist training.

Hire qualified Singaporeans first?

In respect of “the spokesman added: “We are a Singapore company and we will hire qualified Singaporeans first before we explore alternate sources to beef up our manpower resources” – since the basic and gross pay is rather high (classified as PMEs?- the Taiwanese are degree holders) – do they need to advertise for Singaporeans first in the National Jobs Bank?

Placed in National Jobs Bank?

In this regard, since the basic pay of $2,575 is above the S-Pass minimum salary of $2,200 – does it mean that the Taiwanese will be on S-Pass? If this is the case, then as I understand it – shouldn’t these jobs be placed for Singaporeans first in the National Jobs Bank.

Malaysians’ basic pay?

By the way, what is the basic pay for Malaysian APOs? And are most of them on work permits – the foreign workers’ quota is much higher for work permits?

Same basic pay, but cost much less?

At the end of the day – the basic pay may be the same, but it may cost much less for the employer to employ foreigners, instead of Singaporeans.

Leong Sze Hian

 

 

 

 

About the Author

Leong
Leong Sze Hian has served as president of 4 professional bodies, honorary consul of 2 countries, an alumnus of Harvard University, authored 4 books, quoted over 1500 times in the media , has been a radio talkshow host, a newspaper daily columnist, Wharton Fellow, SEACeM Fellow, columnist for theonlinecitizen and Malaysiakini, executive producer of Ilo Ilo (40 international awards), invited to speak more than 200 times in over 30 countries, CIFA advisory board member, founding advisor to the Financial Planning Associations of Indonesia and Brunei. He has 3 Masters, 2 Bachelors degrees and 13 professional  qualifications.