Goh Chok Tong asks: Do skilled immigrants create jobs or take away jobs from locals?
Posted by temasektimes on June 24, 2012
Former Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong may be one of the proponents of Singapore’s pro-foreigner and ultra-liberal immigration policies, but till today, he is still unsure if ‘skilled’ immigrants help create jobs or take them away from native Singaporeans.
In a post on his Facebook last night, Emeritus Senior Minister (ESM) Goh shared an article he read on the Asian Wall Street Journal and asked:
“Do skilled immigrants create jobs or take away jobs from locals? Just read an article in AWSJ on this debate in the US. Prof Slaughter, the writer, said that “skilled immigrants have long supported US jobs and living standards. They bring human capital, financial capital, and connections to opportunities abroad.”
He added that it would be ‘good’ for economists to research the subject in depth though the floodgates have been opened to foreigners from all over the world way back in the early 2000s causing Singapore to be ‘swarmed’:
“Prof Slaughter cited studies to back up his point. This subject is a hot button issue in Singapore. It would be good if economists could research this subject in depth. It would help advance debate on this politically sensitive issue.”
Under Singapore’s ‘unique’ immigration policies, even construction workers, bus captains, hawkers, cleaners and prostitutes are considered ‘skilled immigrants’.
During his tenure as Prime Minister, ESM Goh promised ‘Swiss standard of living’ for Singaporeans by 2000. After ten years, Singapore has indeed attained the ‘Swiss cost of living’, but definitely not its quality of life.