The Straits Times
www.straitstimes.com
Published on Feb 13, 2013
 

The foreign worker dilemma

 
 

THE foreign worker issue presents a dilemma for the Government.

If we let in too many foreign workers, it hurts the job prospects of Singaporeans; if we let in too few, multinational corporations (MNCs) will leave and Singaporeans will lose their jobs.

Somehow, the Government has to ensure that the jobs created for Singaporeans are more than the jobs lost. For this to work, Singaporeans have to be realistic.

The Government says it wants to increase professional, manager, executive and technician jobs for Singaporeans.

Many of these jobs are in MNCs, which are here not because they love our country, but because they see it as a place where they can set up shop and make what they consider to be a reasonable profit.

The moment they do not see this any more, they will pack up and leave.

There are now many other countries where they can start operations, unlike 10 to 20 years ago. The reality is that many countries have caught up with Singapore in quite a number of areas.

The MNCs now have operations in China, Indonesia, Vietnam and Bangladesh.

When the MNCs go, many small and medium-sized enterprises will also be affected because they are sub-contractors of the MNCs.

Singaporean workers should no longer remain the silent majority; they should start voicing their concerns as their future is at stake.

Opposition parties should share with Singaporeans how they would solve this dilemma if they were the government. They should not just question what the Government intends to do.

Goh Khee Kuan