The alternative news in 1 day? (part 46) – Foreign workers create jobs for Singaporeans?

I refer to the articles “EDB: No loss in investment projects due to FT tightening” (TR Emeritus, Feb 1) and “PM: You’ll be sorry too if I send all FTs home” (Jan 29).

Jobs discrimination against Singaporeans?

The former states that “However, according to a survey conducted by recruitment firm eFinancialCareers in October last year, large number of companies in the finance industry are actually discriminating against Singaporean hires. According to the survey, a majority or 52% of the respondents said their companies had favoured foreigners for some job openings (‘Survey confirms rampant job discrimination against SGs‘).

In fact, the situation was so bad that 2 Cabinet Ministers had to have a “friendly talk” with senior members of the financial industry on this matter. Acting Manpower Minister Tan Chuan-Jin told Parliament in March last year that he and Finance Minister Tharman had met senior members of the financial industry to urge them to develop a local talent pipeline.

Mr Tan said, without going into specifics, that there had been complaints of foreign managers preferring to hire their own countrymen and his ministry was investigating the matter.

That is to say, the hiring of foreign professionals did not help create new jobs for Singaporeans in this instance. It induced more hiring of other foreign professionals at the expense of locals.

Perhaps Mr Lee should check with his deputy, Mr Tharman on this matter if he wasn’t aware of it.”

Liberal foreign workers’ policies create jobs for Singaporeans? 

The latter states that ““Why are there so many (foreign professionals)? Because my economy has grown. I’ve created all these jobs. I don’t have Singaporeans for all of them.”

“Can I do with fewer? Maybe. Can I replace some with Singaporeans as they get trained? I hope so. If I send all of them home, will I be sorry? Yes, and I’m sure you will be too because you will not go to that job,” he said.

Reiterating what his government has been saying all along, he said that this foreign talent policy creates new jobs for Singaporeans instead of taking them away from locals.”

57% of jobs to foreigners?

In this connection, according to the Ministry of manpower’s (MOM) Employment Situation 2013 report – In the last 7 years from 2007 to 2013 – cumulative employment change was 996,600 jobs, of which 565,400 or about 57% went to foreigners.

No breakdown of “locals”?

However, the balance 431,200 jobs that went to locals do not have a breakdown into Singaporeans and PRs.

401,934 new PRs and new citizens granted in 6 years?

Moreover, between the 6 years from 2007 to 2012 (I believe the 2013 data not available yet) – 288,931 new PRs and 113,003 new citizenships were granted.

What % of jobs to Singaporeans?

So, if we account for the number of PRs, new PRs and new citizens – what percentage of the jobs went to Singaporeans – about 10 to 20%?

Uniquely Singapore!

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.