Singapore—Singapore People’s Party’s (SPP) Khan Osman Sulaiman shared some blunt words on his Facebook account today. And although they were not addressed to anyone in particular, it’s pretty obvious that his words are in reference to Manpower Minister Josephine Teo, whose teary video clip in Parliament this week made the rounds on social media.
In Parliament on Tuesday (Sept 2), Leader of the Opposition and Workers’ Party (WP) chief Pritam Singh, as well as Leong Mun Wai, Non-Constituency MP (NCMP) with the Progress Singapore Party PSP), called for stricter regulation of companies that practise discriminatory hiring practices.
“Mr Pritam Singh and Mr Leong Mun Wai might not have realised this — firms that are scrutinised have not flouted any rules yet… Instead, we have identified them through proactive surveillance because of their unusually high reliance on foreigners in their PMET workforce when compared to their industry peers,” Ms Teo said in response.
Growing emotional, the Manpower Minister told the stories of three workers who had either received help from various job-related schemes or shared their concerns with the Ministry.
Ms Teo said, “Please know that you too are always in our hearts. However long this storm lasts, MOM will walk the journey together with you. However tough it may be, we will help you bounce back.”
About the three workers, she said, “We are always here, listening to their struggles, thinking deeply about the support they need, recognising the constraints, adjusting policies in their best interests, finding better ways to protect them against unfair practices and ultimately, helping them get onto the path of growth in their work lives that they so deserve.”
Mr Khan, who contested for Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC in the General Elections in July under the SPP banner, addressed issues regarding employment in a Facebook post the following day (Sept 3).
He wrote, “Don’t have to cry and be emotional. Just do the right thing.”
Don't have to cry and be emotional. Just do the right thing.1. Cap the number of E & S Pass holders to the total…
Mr Khan, who formerly worked with communications and advertising giant Saatchi & Saatchi and is currently the Managing Director at Inspiria Design and Build, listed six things that are, in his opinion, “the right thing.”
These are: limiting the number of E & S Pass holders to the total number of workforce, implementing a monthlong requirement for jobs advertisement in Jobs Bank before employers can apply for an E Pass, making Jobsbank accessible only to locals and current pass holders or hiding employers’ emails from ads to prevent foreigners from applying for jobs, setting up a department to regulate and reference check all incoming E & S Pass holders’ certifications, studying and adopting labour laws in Australia and New Zealand that may be applicable to Singapore, and preventing Dependant Pass holders from holding local jobs, calling them “the multiplier that is robbing us of our jobs and not just PMET jobs.”
Ending on a terse note, Mr Khan wrote, “Your ministry can certainly do better.”
This is the second time in a week that Mr Khan addressed employment issues. On Wednesday (Aug 26), he said in a Facebook post that the Government’s announcement on the raising of minimum wages for Employment Pass and S-Pass holders is nothing more than a “PR stunt.” —/TISG