Singapore – Opposition People’s Voice (PV) leader Lim Tean took to social media urging the public to “immediately stop describing foreigners who come to work in our country as foreign ‘talents,'” noting the term should be rarely bestowed.
On Tuesday (September 1) Mr Lim further expounded on the issue of foreign workers in Singapore, a topic he has frequently been highlighting as of late. “Stop describing foreign workers as ‘talents!'” he said on his latest discussion.
Mr Lim recalled that his teacher in Primary school would scold students for describing someone as “great” without a legitimate reason. “Historians will only rarely bestow the word ‘great’ on someone who has been a transformational figure and changed the world,” Mr Lim added. He gave a few examples of “Greats” such as Napoleon, Peter the Great or Winston Churchill.
“For the same reason, we should immediately stop describing foreigners who come to work in our country as foreign ‘talents,'” Mr Lim continued. He noted how this was a term used by elites and mainstream media as a “clever ploy and euphemism to mask the horrendous number of foreigners” in Singapore allowed to earn a living.
According to Mr Lim, he would not be called the same if he were to work abroad. “No one will ever describe me as ‘foreign talent.’ I would be described as a foreigner working in a particular country, which is not my homeland,” he noted.
Furthermore, he touched on the specifics of someone being called a “real talent.” What if he has a fake degree? asked Mr Lim. “Why is he a ‘talent’ when the Singaporean who has earned a degree from the 11th-ranked (based on 2020 QS World University Rankings) NUS (National University of Singapore) or 13th-ranked (Nanyang Technological University) is not described as a ‘talent?'”
“So let’s stop putting foreign workers on the pedestal by elevating their status as ‘talent,'” said Mr Lim, who vowed he would “forever banish” the phrase from his vocabulary. He will keep the advice of his Primary school teacher “and describe them (foreigners) non-judgmentally as foreign workers.”
Members from the online community agreed with Mr Lim, noting the foreign workers were supposed to fill the labour gap, not take away jobs from Singaporeans through their talents. “Talents should be called within their country of origin. It cannot be exported,” said a netizen.
Meanwhile, Facebook user Yogo Mojoo suggested it was time for the Government to “seriously look into” the issue of “real talents” not “fake professionals” that would benefit the country. The term “foreign talent” has been used to describe skilled workers or PMETs (professionals, managers, executives, and technicians) employed in Singapore.
Stop Describing Foreign Workers As “Talents”! I had a teacher in Primary school who would rebuke his students for…