Discrimination against Singaporeans: Unanswered questions?

I refer to the article “Parliament: MOM took action against about 50 firms for failing to give Singaporeans a fair chance when hiring” (Straits Times, Mar 7).

50 companies taken to task

It states that “Fifty companies that failed to give Singaporeans fair consideration when hiring have been taken to task, said Manpower Minister Lim Swee Say on Monday (March 6).

500 employment pass applications rejected

More than 500 Employment Pass applications from these employers have been rejected by the Manpower Ministry (MOM) or withdrawn by the companies, he said during the debate on his ministry’s budget.

These companies are among the uncooperative firms on the Fair Consideration Framework Watchlist, which keeps track of firms not doing enough to hire and groom Singaporeans. The framework was introduced in 2014.”

Missing National Jobs Bank statistics?

The most important statistics are arguably still missing – what percentage of the jobs listed in the National Jobs Bank went to Singaporeans, PRs and foreigners?

More companies discriminating?

With regard to “At the end of February this year, there were 250 companies – in industries ranging from information and communication technology to professional services – on the watchlist, up from 100 at the start” – does this not indicate that perhaps more employers (from 100 to 250) may not be hiring Singaporeans?

Punitive actions?

In respect of “The Tripartite Alliance for Fair Employment Practices guides those on the watchlist to improve their employment practices over a period of six months” – does it mean that employers may simply still give preference to hiring non-Singaporeans – and then if you are caught – then start to give preference to hiring Singaporeans and replace foreigners whose employment passes are not allowed to be renewed, as they come up for renewal, with Singaporeans?

In the meantime – how many of these foreigners have been reclassified as local workers with an average of about 20,000 new citizens and 30,000 new PRs granted annually?

Hired 800 more – 100,000 unemployed S’poreans?

As to “Collectively, these firms have hired 800 more Singaporean professionals, managers and executives since being placed on the watchlist. Those that continue to improve can be progressively removed from the list, he added” – this may be akin to just “a drop in the ocean” as I understand that the non-seasonally adjusted number of unemployed Singaporeans may now be about 100,000 with most of them being PMETs.

“Those that continue to improve can be progressively removed from the list, he added. As for the 50 or so uncooperative firms, he said: “We will continue to curtail their work pass privileges until they improve.””

With regard to “Mr Lim also shared plans to develop more progressive employers.

The Human Capital Partnership programme was launched last month – with 74 employers who employ about 100,000 Singaporeans – to recognise exemplary employers who invest in staff development.

MOM will now treat companies differently based on their employment practices, he said.

Punitive measures?

Human Capital Partnership partners will be given “fast lane” access to development schemes and services such as SkillsFuture, as well as a dedicated hotline to MOM, while the majority who are fair employers will be in the “normal lane”. Those on the watch list for unfair HR practices will be in the “slow lane”, and subject to additional scrutiny when it comes to work pass applications” – don’t you find this so called punitive or “encouragement” actions against employers who prefer to hire non-Singaporeans laughable? – merely placed in the “slow lane” and “additional scrutiny when it comes to work pass applications”?

In respect of “While foreign manpower “is and will always be an integral part” of Singapore’s workforce, employers must give fair consideration to recruiting and developing local manpower, Mr Lim stressed.

There are about 1.2 million foreign workers, excluding foreign domestic workers, he said. About 40 per cent of these foreign workers take on labour-intensive jobs few locals want, in sectors such as construction. And while about 45 per cent of them do jobs that locals will opt for, “we do not have enough locals to do these jobs”, he said, citing the shortage of Singaporean integrated circuit design engineers.

The remaining 15 per cent of foreigners are in global headquarters. He said this is a boon for locals: There are about seven locals for every three foreigners in this segment.

“On the whole, most of the foreigners working in Singapore do complement our local workforce rather than substitute our locals,” said Mr Lim.

11,400 jobs to locals against 37,300 to foreigners?

The persistent view that “foreigners are here to take away our jobs” is due to employers in some segments not giving fair consideration to the recruitment and development of local manpower, he added” – how do we explain the startling statistics that the employment change for the two years from 2015 to 2016 was 11,400 jobs to locals against 37,300 to foreigners?


Leong Sze Hian



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9 Responses to “Discrimination against Singaporeans: Unanswered questions?”

  • Bapak:

    The question is why our Covernment allows foreigners to have an advantage over Singaporeans. This unlevel playing field is created by who..???? Why started the problem and now trying to wayang your way out? It show how incompetence they are.

    GD Star Rating
  • More companies involved:

    There should be more companies than the 50 listed that are practicing discriminatory action against local.
    More need to done to tackle this issues affecting local employment.
    Need to get our employers to recruit more local first.
    Best ways is to restricts FTs…and cutoff easy FTs option.

    GD Star Rating
  • PAP is The problem:

    The problem is easy to fix. All that is required is for PAP to be open and transparent on foreigners in Singapore. With the requisite information Singaporeans would know what to do.

    GD Star Rating
  • Japanese porn is still best:

    PAP is The problem:
    The problem is easy to fix. All that is required is for PAP to be open and transparent on foreigners in Singapore. With the requisite information Singaporeans would know what to do.

    And they will Voluntarily let you audit them?
    Sure, i believe you.
    You Top in maths and science right?
    Moh Tak Deng!

    GD Star Rating
  • opposition dude:

    Please bookmark the following page and view it from time to time, I know I will. Do screenshots if you have to along with the url, you never know when you might need to reference it.


    Now, no one honestky believes it’s just 50 companies lah, the report also mentioned that those other companies which complied within 6 months did not face any sanctions. So, what was the actual number for ALL companies which flouted regulations in addition to those who complied? Definitely more than 50 for sure.

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  • l'ingenieur:

    Why should there be labour migration levels beyond TFR 2.1?

    GD Star Rating
  • Not the Full Picture:

    All this assumes foreign corporations will still come in the numbers they used to, and hire as they used to.

    Indications are that the numbers across the board are lower. And the jobs on offer are of lower grade too. So all in all, there is simply less to fight and compete over.

    Where possible, Singaporeans need to support local SMEs. Because the SMEs will be around to provide employment.

    GD Star Rating
  • What's there to hide ?:

    Which are the 50 errant firms ? Can you name & shame them ? I know of a few companies that are highly discriminatory against Singaporeans so if they are not in your list, then I have to say poor job MOM, you are just scratching the surface !

    GD Star Rating
  • Reality:

    More of our young graduates are finding difficulties to find suitable jobs.
    Not good in the long run as it will affect their career and ability to provide a decent life for their future family.
    Many will find it a problem to pay for a decent high costs home…

    Serious problem.need tp resolve it…

    Better to create more apportunities for them…may have to restricts FTs here…

    GD Star Rating

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