Why can’t we be transparent – for once – on labour statistics?

Photo: Dickson Phua/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0Photo: Dickson Phua/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

We need to be transparent about our job statistics

Lee Kuan Yew’s warning about foreign workers? 

I was tagged by Yeoh Lam Keong to a facebook photo which quoted Lee Kuan Yew in 2010- “In five years, you will have 120,000 work-permit holders .. in 10 years, a quarter million. Is it bearable?

Maybe if they were from our traditional sources: with Malaysians there are minimal cultural and language problems. Last year, however, because there were not enough Malaysians, we started to move further afield and took work-permit holders from Thailand, from Sri Lanka, from India, from Bangladesh. They are good workers. They are hungry, they are lean, they are keen… But I have a responsibility to you. In 10 years, can we digest so many? There will be cultural, linguistic, social and political problems.”

70% of new bus captains are local?

After reading the above, I read the article “70 per cent of new bus captains are local” (Straits Times, Jul 25).

70% of new bus captains are Singaporeans?

It states that “In the 10 months since it opened, the Singapore Bus Academy has trained about 1,000 bus captains, 70 per cent of whom are Singaporeans.

Of these, half are above the age of 40 and a quarter are above 50 years old.”

70% are local or Singaporeans?

You may not have noticed, but the title of the article says 70 per cent are “local”, whereas the article says “70 per cent of whom are Singaporeans”.

How many of the current bus captains are Singaporean?  

Also, these are the statistics for the newly trained bus captains – what percentage of the about 9,800 bus captains currently are Singaporeans?

Be transparent – for once!

Why can’t we be transparent – for once – about our labour statistics?

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.