Monday, March 19, 2007

Singapore. The discrimination in Singapore against the Singapore worker in favor of foreigners!

Ladies and Gentlemen,

If the leaders of the opposition in Singapore will not ensure that this grave and unacceptable injustice by employers in Singapore against their own Singaporeans in favor of foreigners is not corrected, then I must say, categorically that they are not doing their job. By sitting idly by, while this unashamed blatant widespread employment discrimination against their own by migrant foreigners goes on daily before their very eyes, these Singapore opposition leaders are themselves responsible and answerable to the Singaporeans workers who suffer, due to their inaction. By assuming the mantle of opposition politicians, it becomes incumbent upon them to do something now to stop this. All the talk and blogging and complaining is all fine. But they must take action to stop this injustice now.

I have heard from reliable sources that the following thoroughly unacceptable discrimination against Singapore men and women is happening daily. Let me tell you this particular sordid tale first hand. The facts are accurate. The employer needs an IT Helpdesk engineer. Singapore as you know, has universities that produce excellent engineers, like the NUS. Instead, without any attempt by this particular Singapore employer to fill the position through Singapore born engineers, he goes straight to a company, let us call it for namesake X, a Singapore Recruitment Agency. Company X then contacts their recruitment sources in China who then find a Chinese national who has qualifications far inferior to a particular Singapore born engineer who had earlier been refused this very job by this employer. The Chinese national engineer's qualifications were obtained only through distance learning from a very inferior college, let us say for namesake Y. This Chinese national engineer is promptly selected for the position, company X then processes the paperwork for an employment pass through Singapore Manpower department and the next day, he is en route to Singapore to take up the job. While all this has happened, the particular Singapore engineer, with a 2nd Class engineering degree, from NUS , a degree earned through attendance at classes unlike the Chinese national's degree which he got though mail order, making it a far superior qualification, remains unemployed, still desperately looking for a job. It transpired subsequently that the reason why the job went to the Chinese national was because the employer wanted someone without national service obligations. If this is not wrong, tell me what is?

The above narration is a factually accurate story where a local born Singaporean who did his national service was unfairly discriminated in his own country in favor of a foreigner. The particular informant tells me that he is not the only one. It appears this disgraceful discrimination against Singaporeans citizens in their own country is a daily occurrence.

I have said this before in my blogs. This indiscriminate import of foreign labor has to stop. I am not against foreign labor per se. What I am saying, and any other rational person will agree is that Singaporeans should come first before any foreigner. The job should first be made available for Singaporeans and only if it cannot be filled should foreigners be given the job. This is the principle in every other country in the world. Obviously. Since in every country, their own citizens should come first before letting in foreigners.

I have said this before and will say it again. The policy should be to have a system in place where the employer requests the Singapore government for permission to allow a foreigner to be given employment in his company only if he can show that despite using all reasonable diligent efforts, he cannot find a Singaporean to fill the position. He has to show this with documentary proof such as through newspaper advertisements and other recruitment efforts.

The employer should then provide credible proof that all attempts were taken in this recruitment effort, for a duration of perhaps 6 months and if the vacancy still remains, he should be granted it. In this way the Singapore employer will be forced to try make serious attempts at local recruitment first ensuring that Singaporeans are given first preference.

Singapore jobs should belong to Singapore born Singaporeans first before others. Surely this is fair.

The other important point is not to permit employers to reject Singaporeans in favor of foreigners, merely because the Singaporean demands a higher pay. The government must be aware that Singaporeans have decidedly higher living costs which already exists in Singapore. It is totally unfair to Singaporeans to bring in an impoverished Bangladeshi who is prepared to accept pittance for the same work, just throwing the Singaporean out of his job in favor of the impoverished Bangladeshi or denying him one entirely.

The way to increase profitability is not suppress wages. It is to increase productivity. It is to mechanize and improvise so that even with higher wages the profits still remain. In California construction unionized workers earn as much as $25 an hour. Yet construction remains profitable. It would have been easy for the US to bring in Mexican workers to do it at $6 per hour. But they do not. As it is not only wrong in principle, it does not make good business sense. In this way, you see the US building construction industry highly mechanized, efficient and productive, with one American worker able to do the job of 6 unskilled Bangladeshis if need be. This is how it should be.

I therefore ask the reader and the opposition leaders to take note. Merely making speeches and for Sylvia Lim to give her seminars on the Singapore Penal Code are insufficient. What is happening is inexcusable injustice. Mr. Lee and his son plainly and simply refuse to listen. They are determined to continue to perpetrate this injustice upon their own Singaporeans. You, the Singapore opposition politicians and leaders, are yourself guilty if you remain silent in the face of this injustice before your very eyes. Making speeches is simply not enough. You have to take the law into your own hands. You have to protest and demonstrate against this injustice against Singaporeans in their own country in favor of Chinese, Indian, Bangladeshi and Burmese nationals. Now is the time. Enough is enough. You have to act. And if you do not, it is your conscience to whom you have to answer.

This message is to the opposition politicians Mr. Low, Mr. Chiam, Miss Lim and Dr. Chee.

Gopalan Nair
39737 Paseo Padre Parkway, Suite A1
Fremont, CA 94538, USA
Tel: 510 657 6107
Fax: 510 657 6914


Anonymous said...

I consider myself a victim of your above case in the last few years. However, I cannot wait for things to happen as I need to feed my family n self. So I have moved out to other pastures. (but waiting to see how political scene changes when the old passes on which I believe many are looking fwd .....

||| said...

I´ve heard about discriminations on the malay and indian etnic group in Singapore from a friend of mine who´s born in Singapore:he´s indian.

Anonymous said...

Same as the previous post, I also consider myself to be a victim. I'm a Singaporean working in a multinational company with a Philippine female boss. There's a clear discrimination between the Australian team member and myself (both of us reporting to her). My boss's boss from UK also discriminates and agrees with her, helping the whites. I'm now trying to pursue other opportunities at the same time delivering my work due to competitive timelines. Clear discrimination for whites and local Singaporeans like us. It's extremely sad...

Anonymous said...

I fully agree with the post, being a victim myself. Although being a PMET working in a world class company, I am not immune to such discrimination. I manage multimillion business account across Asia region with my team and slogged average 12 hours daily not to mention oversea trips. I have done great till recently when my staff and jobs cope was reassigned to a foreigner that company parachute in. I a very frustrated and depressed over this whole saga. Accusation is I have overworked. Soon I will be sidelined, who can I talk to? Our labor law does not cover PMET. Singapore made it so far base on the foundation built by local Singaporean. This is not right ....policy needs to be made to protect Singaporean if any cohesion is needed.