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Did TOC make you think more competition's coming here from Indonesia? You thought wrong

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A prominent socio-political publication, The Online Citizen (TOC), published yesterday an article titled, “Singapore to launch a scheme to help companies recruit talents from Indonesia“, which described an exchange between Foreign Affairs Minister, Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, and his counterparts from Indonesia.
The article quoted the Minister as saying, “We believe Indonesian universities and technical institutes will produce many graduates with digital skills and we are thinking of launching a scheme, in which Singapore companies – which are looking for talent – will be able to recruit talent here, deploy them here, and provide services for the rest of the world.”
The title along with this quote may have given the impression that more Indonesians were coming to Singapore to compete for jobs with the locals here.
The key words to note in the quote by Dr Vivian were “will be able to recruit talent here, deploy them here”.
As Dr Vivian was speaking from Indonesia, ‘here’ means ‘Indonesia’. So, his words would read, “will be able to recruit talent here (in Indonesia), deploy them here (in Indonesia)”.
So what most likely the Minister said was that the both countries were thinking of launching a scheme where Singaporean companies can set up shop in Indonesia, tap on the talent in that country and provide services for the rest of the world from Indonesia.
Later in that article, there was also the part about “possibility of cooperation in manpower…related to caregiver therapists”.
So yeah, Singapore could have more workers from Indonesia, but it could be to do work that a lot of Singaporeans may not want to do.
How many of us like to wipe the saliva, change diapers, feed, mediate disputes and provide end of life care for old people and persons with disabilities?
An article in The Straits Times ‘Singapore’s Caregiver Crunch‘, sheds light on the need for more manpower in the care-giving field.
“There were around 380,000 people aged 65 and above last year, and the number is expected to hit 900,000 by 2030…There are more than 99,000 childcare places in Singapore right now, compared to around 3,000 for day-care services for the elderly at present.”
The caregiver therapists from Indonesia could be a much welcomed relief for welfare organisations which provide care for dementia patients, and others with conditions like cerebral palsy and autism.
Dr Vivian’s visit to Indonesia, among his first as Foreign Affairs Minister, underscores the importance Singapore places on relationship with both countries. And rightly so. They are our biggest neighbour.
We are but a ‘little red dot‘.

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