Suddenly, we see plenty of changes to our foreign worker policy. The govt talks of sharpening the difference between Singaporeans and PRs. They are increasing foreign worker levies so employers will have more incentives to hire Singaporeans. The govt will also be implementing citizenship tests[Link]. Looks like nothing in Singapore comes in moderation. I had dinner with a group of PRs last weekend and many of them were quite surprised at the moves against them - many of them have been in Singapore for 10-15 years and consider Singapore their 2nd home. First the govt implemented an FT policy on steriods opening the floodgates to foreigners, running advertisements overseas to ask people to come to Singapore to enjoy free scholarship & work etc. Then all of a sudden, they want to "sharpen the difference" in treatment of PRs, imposing higher levies, imposing citizenship tests etc. They are doing what some people say is a U-turn on their policies. Really, why can't they just plan properly and use common sense instead of swinging from one extreme to another. For the PRs, there is complete confusion because the media for the last few years kept harping on Singapore needing more foreigners to create jobs for Singapores, they are needed because of our low fertility rate and they are wanted because they are more "hard striving" and so on.
For critics of the govt FT policy, many are relieved that the govt finally 'sees the light' and have taken steps to adjust this policy. However, one has to ask : why did the govt take so long to realise it had veered so far off and is now in a hurry to correct the policy? It is hard for me to believe that the PAP has moved away from being pro-business to doing what will benefit ordinary Singaporeans at the expense of big business - this is completely inconsistent with every thing else the govt has done over time and the "native Singaporeans are falling behind because the spurs are not stuck into the hide, that is their problem" ideology. What all this is consistent with is the sweetening process we see before every election. Lest you forget, I've attached a old sample of this from 2006 i.e.before the last general elections. Plenty of talk about "helping Singaporeans", "helping the poor", "more jobs for Singaporeans", concern for older workers, concern for the poor and so on before the 2006 elections - so what happened after that?
Before every election, the populace is convinced that things have changed for the better by a tsunami of good news and favorable policy changes. After the elections, the govt sings a completely different tune with various hikes - GST, minister pay, transport fare etc. If you think that the PAP govt is all set to moderate its foreign worker policy, please think again. The best way to secure long lasting and permanent changes is to let this govt know that you don't forget easily and you're not a fool ....only then will they respect you and start working for your interest.
"Higher wages seen for Singapore workers as job market tightens" "Singapore businesses optimistic in first half of 2006" "Singapore's employment in 2005 at all-time high of 2.3 million" "Singapore's economy expected to continue prospering: PM Lee" "$1b help for low-wage earners" "NTUC aim: Make 10,000 jobs pay more this year " "Record 32m pass through Changi Airport" "Foreign Trade hits record $716b" "RECORD panel recommends financial incentives for NSmen" "Private and HDB home prices move up" "Panel recommends incentive package for companies to hire older workers" "More workers expected to find jobs in 2006: NTUC Chief " "Biomedical sciences industry may exceed government's 2015 target" "NTUC to set up $50m fund to help low-wage workers upgrade their skills " "S'pore strong trade performance expected to continue into H1 2006" "Medisave withdrawal limit to be raised from $300 to $400 from April" "Singapore expects strong manufacturing investments in 2006 " "Strong jobs gains show Singapore employers hiring for growth: analysts " "Jalan Besar Town Council unveils $517m estate upgrading plan" "S&C and rental rebates for 700,000 households" "Sembawang Town Council to spend $570m on renewal plan" "Civil servants to get 1.75 month year-end bonus" "12% of Singapore employers to increase hiring in Q1: survey " "Singapore created 28,500 jobs in Q3 " "Singapore raises economic growth forecast to around 5% for full year" "ComCare Fund disburses $8.7m to help low income households" "East Coast Town to undergo S$500m renewal programme " "HDB upgrading programme speeds up with 64 precincts chosen for 2006 " "Jobless rate down to 2.5%. Lowest in 4 years" "More Jobs Than Ever Before As The Tide Turns" "Singapore retailers say festive season sales the best since 2003" "Manufacturing, service sectors optimistic about business conditions" "Singapore's PMI expands for 9th straight month in January" "Singapore's STI ends at six-year high for second day running " "Singapore banks expected to post strong Q4 earnings" "Singaporeans less worried about economy, job security: survey " "SilkAir flew record 134,000 in Dec " "Singapore's M&A market hits record number of deals in 2005 " "SingTel's regional mobile users rise to 78m by end of Dec 2005 " "More SMEs expected to launch IPO this year" "SE Asia a key growth region for many S'pore firms" "Bets still on for global stock market rally despite slow start to year" "Panasonic sets up new semiconductor plant, expands capacity by 25% " "More couples having more children, 2005 birth rates up marginally" "MediaCorp Raintree Pictures' "I Not Stupid Too" beats Jet Li's "Fearless" "More poly graduates finding jobs at higher starting pay: survey" "Gallery outreach, higher incomes drive growing interest in art collecting" "Committee on ageing recommends $10m fund for senior citizens' activities" "Raffles Holdings posts record annual profit of S$678m" "Raffles Medical posts 27% rise in earnings to $12m for 2005" "S'pore sees increased entrepreneurial activity" "APB reports 16% rise in Q1 profit to S$39.4m" "More amenities, upgrading works for growing GRC" "Ang Mo Kio to be upgraded into 'seamless town', says PM" "Barrier-free access soon in all housing estates, transport system" "Surplus to be shared, says DPM Wong" "Drug abuse arrests hit yet another record low in 2005" "CPF members to receive bonus under DPS" "Number of school dropouts down: Education Ministry" "S'pore received record number of tourists in 2005" "Singapore's Q4 GDP up annualised 13%, 2006 growth forecast raised to 4%-6%" "Wages up, most companies adopting flexible wage system" "Singapore's December retail sales up 7.4% to S$2.8b""SIA passenger traffic up in January"