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After PSP tables motion on jobs debate, Ong Ye Kung says it “appears intent on carrying campaign against CECA”

Mr Ong added that he is “quite puzzled by the PSP’s motion” and alleged that Mr Leong “has persisted in linking this issue falsely with FTAs and CECA” even after the debate in Jul.

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Singapore — Non-Constituency Member of Parliament Leong Mun Wai from Progress Singapore Party announced that a debate over jobs and the foreign talent policy will take place this month, and it appears that Ong Ye Kung did not take to it kindly.

In Jul, Mr Ong, sought to clarify Singapore’s Free Trade Agreements in his capacity as a former trade negotiator in a lengthy debate in Parliament. 

The Health Minister noted in a Facebook post that the PSP “appears intent on carrying on its campaign against CECA,” the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement to strengthen bilateral trade between Singapore and India.

Mr Leong wrote in a Tuesday morning (Aug 31) Facebook post about the upcoming #PSPJobsDebate, which should take place on Sept 13 or 14.

He wrote, “The Motion we have submitted is: That this Parliament calls upon the Government to take urgent and concrete action to address the widespread anxiety among Singaporeans on jobs and livelihood caused by the Foreign Talent Policy and the movement of natural persons provisions in some free trade agreements like CECA.”

The NCMP emphasised that CECA is not PSP’s “main concern,” but improving the jobs and livelihood of Singaporeans is the main focus of the debate.

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Mr Leong wrote in his post that while Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong had addressed concerns over foreign work pass holders in his National Day Rally speech on Sunday night, there was no mention of “concrete policies that would resolve the problem fundamentally.”

“We will continue to urge the Government to take the issues of the displacement and  discrimination of Singaporeans seriously and implement concrete policies to address the problems urgently. As the Government has not answered most of the 23 parliamentary questions that we have filed for data, we will be entering the debate with incomplete information,” he added.

On his part, Mr Ong wrote that the government “understands” people’s anxieties over competing with foreign workers for jobs. But he countered that PM Lee had announced “concrete policies to address the challenges faced by our workers” in his speech on Sunday.

He added that he is “quite puzzled by the PSP’s motion” and alleged that Mr Leong “has persisted in linking this issue falsely with FTAs and CECA” even after the debate in Jul.

Mr Ong then proceeded to enumerate the points he and Manpower Minister Tan See Leng made in the debate, pointing out that Mr Leong “had seemed to acknowledge these points,” although the NCMP had said PSP needs time to assess if CECA is beneficial to Singapore workers.

“Unfortunately, the PSP appears intent on carrying on its campaign against CECA. As PM cautioned at NDR, this campaign carries a strong racist undertone, and has impacted not only Indian nationals here, but our own local-born Indians.

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The Government will consider how to address the PSP’s motion during the upcoming Parliament sitting,” wrote Mr Ong. /TISG

Read also: Leong Mun Wai: We don’t agree that CECA is net beneficial to Singapore at this stage

Leong Mun Wai: We don’t agree that CECA is net beneficial to Singapore at this stage

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