Singapore – People’s Power Goh Meng Seng recently looked to history, specifically an article published in 1982, to showcase his view on the state’s shortcomings in managing foreign workers. While Mr Goh did not name the original source, a similar article written by the Business Times in 1982 can be found here.
The article posted by Mr Goh on his Facebook (June 15) traced the beginnings of the Levy Scheme, “under which employers will be required to pay a monthly levy of 30 per cent of the wages of their foreign workers subject to a minimum of $150 per worker”.
This move, back in 1982, was done in a bid to “deter the employment of low-skilled foreign workers”. Ultimately, the article said that the Levy Scheme had the goal of creating a “wholly Singaporean Workforce”.
One key part of the article that Mr Goh highlighted in his post, was that foreign workers were expected “to be phased out by 1992”, according to the Ministry of Labour then. Using this, Mr Goh accused the PAP of having failed to deliver on their promises.
He wrote: “they continue to collect more and more workers levies, increasing levies over the decades while allowing even more such migrant workers to work in Singapore!”
Some netizens have reacted to the post by stating that such moves by the state including other schemes like ERP and CPF, were initially introduced with good intentions by the state. However, over time, the idea of increasing reserves overshadowed the original purpose of these schemes.
Others have stated that it would be best to leave the construction sector to foreign workers, as most Singaporeans would not be willing to work in such a sector due to reasons like heavy-duty work as well as the hot weather.