While it can be argued endlessly whether allowing foreign professionals, managers, executives and technicians (PMETs) into Singapore is taking jobs from citizens, don't overlook how companies and employees are getting more comfortable working from home since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.
What will happen in the future?
If companies and PMETs are comfortable working from home, the next stage could be for companies to practise the concept of working from anywhere.
This could take the form of companies no longer needing to employ foreign PMETs and bringing them into Singapore.
They could instead set up a subsidiary in a low-cost city and employ PMETs in that city on local employment terms.
Companies could save substantially on salary, accommodation and airfare.
If Singapore companies were to practise this on a wide scale, PMETs in high-cost cities such as Singapore could lose out.
What would be the impact on Singaporean PMETs? How are they making themselves relevant to companies in Singapore?
Wong Lock Chang