I have been looking for time to write an article to TREmeritus and have finally been able to do so. Recently, an article on TREmeritus caught my attention regarding the effectiveness of JobsBank and subsequently a show on Channel 5 featuring Dr. Puthucherry about race in Singapore. I will discuss about the article on TREmeritus first.
The article was titled ‘How effective is the national Jobs Bank?’ and it was about Osman Bin Sulaiman, a former HR Practitioner, who said in a Facebook post that the portal was ineffective since “employers were able to include their emails [details]” and foreign candidates can directly email their profiles to employers.
I work in a recruitment company and I use JobsBank on a daily basis and I can tell you that is not the primary reason why the portal is so ineffective. I do get applications from foreigners but it is just one or two applications. I feel it is ineffective because the way the portal has been designed to search for candidates. The job portal is rigid and limited.
At the time of writing this article though, there have been changes to the job portal and things look much more improved though it still does not address the main issue. The main issue is that there is no way to monitor/track interviews conducted for Singaporean applicants, reasons for rejections and so on. I strongly encourage interviews to be conducted to companies on why they need to hire a foreigner for the job. This needs to be looked at seriously otherwise JobsBank will just continue to be a routine thing for employers/agencies to just post an advertisement and wait 14 days before they apply for the foreigner’s work pass.
I would like to relate race in the equation now. Getting EP is relatively easy especially if you are Malaysian Chinese in particular. There is no doubt there is a hidden agenda behind this and most of you should know why. There is an agenda to ensure that majority of Singapore population remains Chinese, whether the Chinese come from Malaysia, China or wherever without even giving any consideration for social and cultural impact (especially for China nationals).
For Malaysian Chinese on EP, it will be rather easy for them to get Singapore PR status within a couple of years. More importantly, I can tell you that most of the job openings (well-paying jobs) that I work for my clients; 70% of the jobs go to foreigners and I would say 90% if you include Singapore PRs. I do not consider PRs to be citizens of the country. They are foreigners in my opinion. Essentially, the worrying concern is that we are looking at just 10-20% of these good jobs going to true born Singaporeans. Now why do most of these jobs go to foreigners?
Most of the Hiring Managers themselves are foreigners/PRs. It becomes an issue of Indian nationals hiring Indian national/PR, Filipino nationals hiring Filipino/PR, China national hiring Chinese national/PR and so on. It turns into a ‘my kind can work with your kind’ or a skin colour thing. I’ve noticed a tremendous amount of noise being generated online about this issue.
There have been instances whereby my clients (huge MNCs) have specifically informed me that they want someone who is Chinese even though I may have qualified Singaporean minority candidates who speak fluent Mandarin and other dialects for the job. Is this not discrimination against Singaporean minorities?
Even in my case, I was employed by Singaporean Chinese but suffered racial abuse in my first job. Subsequently, I was hired by Indian nationals (PR) in my second and third jobs and hired by a Filipino national (PR) in my current job (after a job offer was made to a Filipino candidate but she accepted another offer). PM Lee says we need foreigners here to create jobs for Singaporeans. It seems like it has worked well for me in my case.
As a Recruiter, I don’t profile CVs to my client based on the colour of someone’s skin or the way they look. What is important for me is that the candidate must qualify for the job and must be Singaporean because I believe in ‘Singaporean First’ so don’t treat us minorities differently. Dr. Puthucherry, if you read this article, I’m not afraid to talk about race. I can be really blunt about it because I believe a lot of minorities like me have had enough of this already.
Thanks and Regards,
Singaporean Minority Fighter