Globalisation = Economic benefits for S’poreans?


Has globalisation resulted in “economic benefits” being “fairly distributed” to Singaporeans?

I refer to the article “At APEC, PM Lee calls for fair distribution of globalisation’s benefits” (Channel NewsAsia, Nov 11).

It states that “It is important to ensure that the economic benefits of digitalisation and globalisation are “fairly distributed”, said Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Saturday (Nov 11).

Mr Lee said this can be done through social transfers and investments in social policies, such as through education, healthcare, training and human resources, which will “allow people to take home some consolation”, and mitigate the “winner takes all” effect of technology disruption … to equip workers with the tools to upgrade their skills, so that they can get new jobs.”

In this connection, arguably – our “social policies” – particularly in regard to our labour and immigration policies – may be lacking in terms of whether “economic benefits” are “fairly distributed”.

For example, if we look at the latest labour statistics reported in Parliament – we may be none the wiser as to exactly how many of the jobs growth in the last three years went to Singaporeans.

As to “A three-year moving average shows that out of every four extra PMETs employed in the past three years, three were locals. Five years ago, the figure was lower: one local out of every two extra PMETs” (“Parliament: Local PMETs facing brighter job prospects, says Lim Swee Say”, Straits Times, Nov 6) – Why is it that there was no mention of the actual number of PMET jobs created in the last three years?

If we account for the estimated 90,000 new PRs and 60,000 new citizens granted in the last three years – how many of the jobs to locals went to Singaporeans?.

Leong Sze Hian


About the Author

Leong Sze Hian has served as the 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), Hotel Mumbai (associate producer), invited to speak more than 200 times in about 40 countries, CIFA advisory board member, founding advisor to the Financial Planning Associations of 2 countries. He has 3 Masters, 2 Bachelors degrees and 13 professional  qualifications.