Tin Pei Ling speaks up for SMEs struggling with labor crunch
Posted by temasektimes on June 26, 2012
‘Popular’ PAP MP Tin Pei Ling has spoken up in defence of SMEs which are struggling with a labor crunch due to the recent ‘tightening’ of inflow of foreign workers by the Singapore government as it ‘tweaked’ its pro-foreigner and ultra-liberal immigration policies to placate an increasingly restive and disgruntled populace.
In a note posted on her Facebook, Ms Tin recalled a recent meeting with a group of local SME businessmen who shared their woes about the current tight labor market:
“Running SMEs is already tough and stressful. Now they are having to get jobs done with less manpower, because they have to meet their obligations to customers who do not care whether they have enough workers or not.”
Ms Tin added that they are unable to hire Singaporeans as few Singaporeans want to take up the jobs:
“I asked why they do not hire more Singaporeans to do the jobs they offer. They told me they try to do so, but the reality is that few Singaporeans want to take up those jobs, even if they raise the pay. Moreover, Singapore is at 2.1% unemployment (i.e., virtually full employment) and they simply cannot find enough locals to fill positions.”
She defended the SME businessmen that they understand the concerns of Singaporeans too:
“They are Singaporeans too, and understand such feelings expressed by Singaporeans. But they felt that this was only one side of the story, pushed by a vocal group. Their current plight shows that this is a complex issue, that foreign manpower is not all bad, and is in fact an important complement to our own labour force.”
Besides SMEs, many Government-Linked Companies and even statutory boards are employing large number of foreigners too and they are less likely to be affected by recent change in labor policies due to the resources they have at their disposal.