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Foreign manpower: The most worrisome fault line in Singapore

The debate over foreign manpower highlights the difference between official reality and the lived reality of local workers facing pressures from foreign competition

Different lived realities, such as over foreign manpower policies, can create barriers in understanding between the people and the government, and could eventually lead to a gap of credibility and empathy, says the author.PHOTO: ST FILE

Catching excerpts of the marathon debate on foreign manpower policies, I was reminded of what it was like in the early 2000s covering parliamentary sessions.

MPs would rise to their feet repeating the woes of citizens over excessive immigration and crowded public spaces. And the minister in charge would rise in turn to take aim at the arguments and shoot them down, methodically and firmly, if politely.

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