Temasek issued a statement on August 14, regarding the “divisive” and “racist” Facebook posts which targeted its Indian employees. Mdm Ho Ching, CEO of Temasek Holdings, also personally took to Facebook to express her opinions on the matter.
The LinkedIn accounts of some of Temasek’s Indian employees had been circulating on Facebook last week, questioning why the investment firm was hiring foreigners instead of locals.
In response, Temasek issued a statement justifying that they have a “open door policy” on hiring, “regardless of the colour of our skin, or the colour of our passports”. It also stressed that the firm is based in Singapore, a place where xenophobia, racism, and hate speech has “no place” in. It also made it clear that it was supporting their employees who had been targeted in the posts.
Temasek clarified that 90% of their 600 staff in the headquarters at Singapore are Singapore Citizens or Permanent Residents (PRs), and that this breakdown is “broadly the same” for the senior leadership in the firm. Internationally, Temasek revealed that its nationality mix is about 60% Singaporeans and 40% other nationals, which includes about 10% Singapore PRs.
On August 15, Mdm Ho took to Facebook to air her own views regarding the matter.
Mdm Ho highlighted that Temasek is a regional and global financial centre, which consequently means that it serves the world. She then justifies that if Temasek serves the world, it is “natural” that they hire from the world.
She also recalled the 30th anniversary gala dinner celebration that Temasek held, with the guest of honour, special guest, and chairman in attendance. The three were then President SR Nathan, then Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam, and Chairman S Dhanabalan respectively.
Relating it back to the context of the posts on Facebook, Mdm Ho highlighted that although all three were Indians, “it wasn’t strange to us” because Singaporeans “don’t find it strange to have different races in various positions”.
Mdm Ho also shared another encounter while in Chengdu, where the children that a group of young staff spoke to identified the group as being from Singapore due to the multiracial nature of the group.
After sharing another anecdote of a Chinese and Indian pair who were treated with suspicion at the time when terrorist events were more frequent, Mdm Ho pointed out that it was human to take skin colour as “a badge of identity by ourselves and others”. However, she stressed that it is “our humanity” that “helps us rise above the narrowed slits of racial prejudices”.
Mdm Ho ended her post by emphasising that “we are enriched by our diversity and our open minds” and that guarding against hate speech and harassment of any race, language or religion is the way Singapore and Singaporeans can be “the best that we can be”.
Am just wondering. When we are regional and global financial centre, what does it mean?Do regional or global…