Singapore — A post claiming that the naïveté and gullibility of those who drafted CECA, the India-Singapore Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement, are what most Singaporeans are angry about is being shared on Facebook.
Posting on the Joseph Nathan – Hard Truths of SG Facebook page on Sept 4, the author hopes the government will address what is “contentiously wrong” about CECA.
Mr Nathan begins his post by stating that Singaporeans are not against Free Trade Agreements or any specific nationality, and acknowledges that foreign workers and foreign direct investments are necessary for the economy.
But he takes exception to CECA, which he claims allows Indians to use foreign direct investments (FDI) “to create lucrative job and business opportunities for themselves right in our own backyard, almost effortlessly.”
He added that they’ve “learnt… how to legally circumvent our ill-conceived manpower quota and qualification guidelines.”
Mr Nathan assigned responsibility for this to “those involved in the CECA agreement” for giving “Indians numerous loopholes to game our economic success.”
However, he opined, “Singaporeans like myself do not blame the Indians and their politicians for taking advantage of us but are angry at them for trading away a substantial part of our economic success and employment opportunities so foolishly.
This is the core issue that many Singaporeans are angry about and it has got nothing to do with race or nationality.”
The author praised the Progress Singapore Party (PSP) for being “tenacious” in holding accountable the fourth generation (4G) leaders of the ruling People’s Action Party in tabling a motion on jobs for debate in Parliament.
“After years of empty promises, we seriously need to address the many policy gaps, failures and outright stupidity of these politicians as tolerating them is no longer an option,” he added.
In the latter part of his post, Mr Nathan further questioned the competence of the ruling leadership, claiming that tolerance for this incompetence is the “root cause to many of the problems and hardships faced by our Singaporean Workforce.”
“As a result, it is looking like Singaporeans are doomed to be fit only to be drivers, couriers, cleaners, handymen, security guards, safe-distance ambassadors, temperature-takers or hawkers to serve the needs of foreigners right on our shore which we called home,” he wrote.
He also questioned why a third-generation PAP leader helms both the Home Affairs and Law Ministries, asking, “If the politicians from the 4G PAP are really that good as they want Singaporeans to believe, then why aren’t they helming these ministries or able to assure PM Lee to hand over his office to them by now?”
Mr Nathan ended his post by writing that it’s “Time To Address The Problems About CECA With Sincerity:”
“What we urgently need is for our government to acknowledge where they had gone wrong on CECA and our employment policy for foreign workforce, plugged the loopholes and introduce new legislations with greater urgency to safeguard our Singaporean Workforce against unfair discrimination, exploitation and abuse.
Our government must also make a clear distinction between employment policies for Singaporeans and their overseas investments so that one will not be compromised for the sake of the other.
These should be debated vigorously in parliament if we are truly concerned about safeguarding and fortifying our Singaporean Core.”
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