Singapore—Former Nominated Member of Parliament (NMP) Calvin Cheng, who frequently airs his views on social media, weighed in on the issue of whether or not Singapore needs to ends its reliance on foreign workers. He labels most of those who make the call to do so as mere “talking heads.”
I find that most people who are commenting that Singapore needs to rely less on foreign workers are talking heads….
He then further explained the type of “talking heads” he was referring to: “Academics. Journalists. Bloggers. Social Media Activists.
People who have not employed a single person in their lives, not to say foreign workers.”
In his opinion, the people worth listening to on the topic are successful business people or policy makers.
“I would like to hear from big bosses who have successfully transitioned their companies to rely less on foreign workers to share their experiences.
Or even foreign policy makers who have successfully transitioned their economies.
To tell us how.”
He ended his post with the appeal, “Please save us from our local talking heads.
Yak yak yak.
Many netizens have commented on Mr Cheng’s post, which was published on Wednesday (May 27).
Several agreed that it would be highly unlikely for Singapore to stop needing foreign workers, for a number of reasons.
One netizen pointed out that there are certain jobs that Singaporeans simply do not want to do.
Others said that those calling for fewer foreign workers in Singapore are probably the same ones who have foreign maids.
But one person said Mr Cheng is “barking up the wrong tree.”
Another called it a “chicken-and-egg situation.”
Another comment sought to qualify that it is not a question of not having any foreign workers at all, but to end the country’s over-reliance on them.
Among the voices that have been calling for the need to end over-reliance on migrant workers in Singapore have been entrepreneur and founder of the World Toilet Organization, Jack Sim; as well as businessman and publisher of The Independent Singapore, Kumaran Pillai.
Mr Sim wrote, “For the longest time, there was a myth that we need cheap unskilled or semi-skilled labor from foreigners because locals don’t want to work in construction. Now that Covid-19 has induced massive unemployment, there is no better time to attract locals into the Construction Industry with respectable jobs and pay.”
Mr Pillai wrote, “Firstly, we need to stop our over reliance on cheap foreign labour. We have been talking about it for years on how to improve productivity but have achieved little and not much to show for where improvements in productivity is concerned.” —/TISG