The Straits Times
Published on Dec 10, 2012

Embrace foreign labour


HIRING foreign workers is not a matter of preference but of necessity ("Foreign bus drivers' protest a wake up call for employers" by Mr Ralph S. Lesslar; last Tuesday).

With growing affluence, certain jobs are shunned by citizens. Similarly, it is common to read about restaurant operators complaining of the difficulty they face in filling positions despite trying every way they can. Moreover, with a falling birthrate, the problem of finding enough local labour will only get more acute.

To grow and prosper, Singapore must attract foreigners. In my view, having service staff who mainly speak Mandarin or Filipino-accented English is a small price to pay.

What makes Singapore special is its history as a migrant community and its diversity. We should embrace it and leverage on the strength that it offers rather than complain about the differences that arise from the presence of non-Singaporeans.

Cheong Kok Hwee