“Reserve all public sector jobs for Singaporeans”: Former Presidential candidate suggests

2011 Presidential candidate Tan Kin Lian has offered his views on how to create jobs for Singaporeans in a recent social media post. Writing on Facebook yesterday, Tan suggested that one measure the government can take to improve job prospects for locals is to reserve all public sector jobs for Singaporeans.

To attract locals to public sector jobs, the Government could increase wages and offer more flexibility in working hours, Tan offered. He further said that while these provisions would be costly for the Government, it would still be a manageable expenditure. He added: “By giving employment to locals at adequate wages, it will stimulate consumer demand and lead to a more vibrant economy.”

Tan estimated that 15,000 new jobs can be created for locals if the government adopts this measure and said that this will improve the employment rate for Singaporeans:

“The public sector now employs 145,000 officers in the civil service and the statutory boards. This now excludes the outsourced work, which are performed mainly by foreigners and the public transport workers.
“If the public sector stops the outsourcing and employs only locals as pubic transport workers, I estimate that it will create at least 15,000 jobs for locals – as drivers, nurses and auxiliary police officers. This will help to reduce the unemployment rate of locals.”

Read his full post here:

In recent years, many PMETs have lost their jobs through retrenchment. Many graduates find it difficult to find a…

Posted by Tan Kin Lian on Tuesday, 13 March 2018

“In recent years, many PMETs have lost their jobs through retrenchment. Many graduates find it difficult to find a job.

“Many of them became private hire drivers (Grab/Uber) as a last resort.

“We need to address the problem of creating jobs for locals. They need a job to feed their family in a country with a high cost of living. They cannot afford to remain unemployed.

“The government cannot continue their existing policies, which do not appear to be effective. They need to change their policies and strategies. They need the courage to make the necessary changes.

“What change can be more effective?

“I suggest one immediate measure to be taken – all public sector jobs should be reserved for locals, i.e. Singapore citizens.

“These jobs include nurses, teachers, police officers (including auxiliary police) and public transport (i.e. bus and train drivers).

“At present, the public sector is not able to get locals to fill up these positions.

“They main reason is that the pay is not sufficient to attract the locals to take up these jobs. The solution is to increase the pay to a level that can fill the vacancies.

“The public sector should not have a KPI to reduce cost, which is currently achieved through outsourcing of the jobs to contractors.

“Their KPI should be to provide a satisfactory level of public service at an acceptable cost. This acceptable cost is the level of wages that are sufficient to attract locals to take up the jobs.

“There is a benefit in raising the wages in the public sector. It will set the wage benchmark for the private sector. It ensure that wages in the public and private sector will be sufficient to meet the cost of living.

“Indirectly, it is a way to implement a minimum wage. Most countries have a minimum wage for their citizens. It is a good government policy to balance the interest of the working people and the businesses.

“The higher cost in the private sector may create problems of international competitiveness. I will address this point in a separate post.

“The public sector should also provide some flexibility for certain jobs, such as bus or train drivers. We can allow each worker to be excused from (say) 15% of their allocated slots. They may need the time slots to attend to personal matters.

“The released slots can be taken up by other co-workers. This can be done easily with a mobile app.

“This flexibility can be extended to other jobs, such as nurses, police officers and, to a lesser extent, to teachers.

“With a better pay and the flexibility of working time, it should be possible to attract locals to take up the public sector jobs.

“This will help to create employment for locals and reduce the unemployment rate of graduates and PMETs.

“It will increase the cost of the public sector, but the increase will be manageable. By giving employment to locals at adequate wages, it will stimulate consumer demand and lead to a more vibrant economy.

“The public sector now employs 145,000 officers in the civil service and the statutory boards. This now excludes the outsourced work, which are performed mainly by foreigners and the public transport workers.

“If the public sector stops the outsourcing and employs only locals as pubic transport workers, I estimate that it will create at least 15,000 jobs for locals – as drivers, nurses and auxiliary police officers. This will help to reduce the unemployment rate of locals.”

49 COMMENTS

  1. Mr Tan, the gov this side pay salary to foreign worker, that side take back foreign worker levy. If jobs go to locals, no FL collected. The gov loose alot. U think the gov think for singaporeans??? NO.

    • You are spot on ! This is a pro foreign workers country priority over locals as money can be made from this ‘business’

    • I watched a programme recently about Marina Sands Hotel Singapore. GM is American, Car parking attendant Manager is American, 98% of housekeeping staff is from outside Singapore. Where got job for Singapore people?

      Government give scholarship to foreigners to study Secondary school and University in Singapore, get citoizenship – then they leave to bigger markets. No wonder no more money – need to raise GST!!

  2. They want to increase our population to 6.9 millions by 2030. They only want to earn as much money & profits as possible from everywhere. Making money is the number one priority to them. Do they really care about our livelihood? The answer is clear.

  3. Levy erodes the business case for hiring foreigners and puts SGs on better footing. What’s killing SG is the cost of retirement and housing, cos unlike foreigners, they work 1 year here to fund their homes equals SG working 3 years.

  4. Now all tom, dick and harry from India, Myanmar, Malaysia, China, Pinoy land can work in Public sector.
    But local work as Insurance agent, housing agent, and paper distributor.

  5. Mr. Tan, I support your views wholeheartedly. Why sidelined healthy senior citizens and many with Cambridge Sch. Cert. conversant in English /Mandarin /Malay and local dialects! Owing to high High Cost of Living in S’pore, senior citizens too need to be gainfully employed, part-time at least.

  6. Rubbish article

    Sinaporeans got $500 skill credits and some got gst vouchet still dont want to upgrade themselves

    I cant all our locals including those working in CBDs are so fuctup

    • Giving Skill credit is just a wayang ploy to transfer tax funds to crony companies and themselves. No one will get a new job with those skills. Training companies enriched themselves by overcharging for their worthless training classes. Dafts looking for serious work will come out of class feeling cheated.
      PAP government should walk the talk by employing skill credits students rather than foreigners instead.

  7. This job agenda is one of their many poker chips, they lure the foreigners with it and hold the locals in fear with it being the only source of income for most. Both sides are pawns. The government plays devil to either side to stay in power. People power doesn’t work with an already great social divide within Singaporeans. A divided society worries a good intent government but encourages an elitist self centred government which uses this division to conquer all. Unless locals and new minted citizens stand on the same side of the fence (a VERY DAUNTING / ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE task), they will grip on to power. Everyone (Both pro and anti) is very welcome to vent their opinions but besides venting your frustrations or support (depending on which side of the fence U are on), I suggest U find an alternate place for your future. This is a zero sum game destined for checkmate unless a MIRACLE happens.The banker always win 🙂

  8. If the reason for high ministerial salaries is to attract/retain the right talents for the job then i don’t see why it shouldnt be done for these jobs. It’s all about priorities.

  9. Just an example of our GLC, go to Singtel at Comcentre, there are loads of foreigners, especially from India, Philippines amongst Singaporeans working for them. Beside, many government agencies farmed out lucrative I.T. jobs to India and call centres to Philippines. All these are slowing killing off native Singaporeans

  10. Singapore native workforce, especially the sandwiched classes and the lower end workers, are been sold wholesale to the 3rd world countries’ cheaper foreigners and many ended up jobless or doing part-time or non salaried occupations or in contract jobs, to be replaced by more cheaper foreigners as time goes by

  11. What a contradiction. Singaporeans are complaining the Ministers and public servants are all overpaid and here a call to increase more pays when others can only salivate.

    Perhaps, the writer should find out the details from the Public Service Commission whether the pay is too low to attract Singaporeans to join or the skill-sets or qualifications too high to join.

  12. I work in uni, tons of immigrants working in IT. Lots are shaking legs and watching Movie online.
    Is this how we want undergrad to pay for?
    In an University, it suppose to be in the front line of technology but why we have so many ADMIN staff?!

  13. I believed that security should be staffed by locals because it’s our country, our assets & our family @ stake. When it comes to the crunch, will all S’poreans flee the country? Probably the elites might because they have the means to

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