Forum: Disclosing breakdown of employment data figures will help prevent social division

I find Manpower Minister Tan See Leng's contention that the disclosure of employment data by categories of original citizens, new citizens and permanent residents would hurt social cohesiveness arguable (Leong Mun Wai urged to not draw divisions among S'poreans, March 5).

It seems a bit far-fetched to assume that residents in Singapore are not mature enough to handle such statistics and will develop ill-feelings which may lead to social division.

Mr Tan's preference to categorise these three groups as "locals" is puzzling in view of the fact that he disclosed in his ministerial statement last July, and in Parliament in September, that "the majority of local professional, management and executive (PME) growth over the past decade had gone to Singaporeans born in Singapore" (Jobs created for local PMEs outstrip rise in EPs in finance, infocomm: Tan See Leng, July 6, 2021, and Bigger rise in local PMET employment and wage growth despite foreign PMETs: Tan See Leng, Sept 14, 2021).

I would thus have expected the minister to take the opportunity to disclose the statistics to disabuse Singaporeans of the notion circulating in social media and in public discourse that most jobs had gone to new citizens and permanent residents.

Ang Ah Lay

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