Recent reports have suggested that Singapore is clamping down on issuing visas for foreign professionals to work in Singapore, particularly against IT professionals from India.
In an Indian report, ‘Singapore blocks visas for Indian IT professionals’, it said that work visas have stopped for its people, for all practical purpose.
“This (visa problem) has been lingering for a while but since early-2016, visas are down to a trickle. All Indian companies have received communication on fair consideration, which basically means hiring local people,” Nasscom president told the Indian media.
The report said that this is a violation of CECA, the FTA signed between India and Singapore.
Still, the latest figures from MOM showed that Singapore continues to issue the EP work visas for foreign professionals to work in Singapore.
At the end of last year, there were 192,300 foreigners on EP working here.
This is up 2.3% from the 187,900 figure in 2015. Since 2012, the EP figure had increased some 11% from 173,800 to last year’s 192,300.
As can be seen, the number of foreign professionals continues to increase unabated, competing with Singaporeans for jobs on this little island of ours.
Frustrations of Singaporean PMETs
Not surprisingly, the deluge of foreign professionals into Singapore is causing a lot of frustrations among Singaporean PMETs. This can be seen in the many letters sent in by frustrated Singaporeans to transitioning.org, a site set up to cater to the emotional needs of the unemployed Singaporeans.
A Singaporean wrote to transitioning.org last year, lamenting over the loss of his $150,000 job to his foreign subordinate.
“I am writing this article as a rant anonymously and this is the first time I am doing so to pen my thoughts down to vent my frustrations hoping I will feel better,” he wrote.
“In this article I will call out certain regulations the Government have enacted to reduce foreigner inflow which doesn’t appear to be helpful but I will also add my thoughts on what can be done better to help unemployed PMETs like myself.”
“I recently lost my 5-digit-per-month salary job as the listed company I was working for was losing money on a consolidated level. Though Asia is making money, we are subsidizing loss-making operations in Europe. I had felt the cut coming as recent departures were not replaced, new businesses were not approved for additional headcount and I am always tasked to cut cost but alas the cost to be cut was me,” he continued.
“What irked me more was that a foreigner took my place – a subordinate reporting to me drawing 40% less. No doubt in the name of cost savings it was justifiable to release an expensive Singaporean. My ex boss was also a foreigner amongst the many foreigners in my work place.”
“The other hit was that I was also due for reservist in 2 weeks and had submitted my call-up letter to my finance so they are aware they are letting me go before my ICT. It was a double whammy for me since working for rank pay during reservist is painful.”
Indeed, Singaporean males with their reservist obligation are certainly less attractive to employers.
At the end of his letter, he wrote that he is now being forced to leave Singapore.
“I am loss for words myself as I think through how I could tolerate the intolerable injustice met out against me. Perhaps this is a good training ground for me and now I am ready to face the outside world which maybe a more brutal place but my hand has been forced since there is no place for me here anymore,” he wrote.
“Happy 51st birthday Singapore. May this be the last that I celebrate with you as I look for my new life elsewhere. I truly and sincerely wish you all the best. I know running a country is difficult but I only wished that you had have looked out more for me. I really want to be a patriot but instead I have become the enemy.”
Indeed, foreigners are truly replacing Singaporeans not just in their jobs but also themselves.