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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.


38 Responses to “Tin Pei Ling speaks up for SMEs struggling with labor crunch”

  1. Jardel said

    Totally disconnected. Is she living in Singapore at all? One way to wake her up. Reduce her pay to 1k per month and see if she can understand. Simple as that. She cannot and will not see the trouble when she is earning 15k per month.

    • Law said

      Aiya, no use one, u take out all $15k, she still have a backup from her husband in PMO.
      In short, in her life, she will NEVER understand what is being normal People.
      she born with golden spoon somemore… what to expect?
      Forget it, dun put any hope on her really…

  2. Jack said

    Thanks, Ms Ting, We know the problems, May I know what is the solution you are recommending?

  3. Wrong said

    Gov misunderstand the own picture therefore it lead to the current SME labour crunch. Instead of tightening the inflow of E-pass and S-pass application, gov tighten Worker permit. Gov failed to understand that Singaporeans complain because we have enough work force to fill in PMET position, we don’t need more E-pass and S-pass holder to enrole in the jobs that can be done by our diploma and degree holders. What SMEs need are the blue collars or semi skilled workers who are more labour base.

    • i say what i think only... said

      fully agreed. WP CSM mentioned the e-pass are many jobs which our fresh grad want to do but do not have the chance. are they listening? btw, does she really believe the 2.1% unemployment rate? try going CDC and see what good jobs they are getting for our jobless local next to going for useless upgrading. ex-cleaner go for upgrading, does it justify her higher pay for being more courteous or she can clean at double the speed?

    • singaporeboy said

      i agree with you wholeheartedly. what sme are facing are shortages of people who can do labour intensive jobs not managerial positions.

  4. Lim said

    When one tries to stand on both sides of the fence at same time….the results can be disastrous.

  5. pap said

    FT policy also push by a vocal group

  6. denzuko1 said

    Has Tin Pei Ling question as to why there are so few takers for local MNCs? Has it not crossed her mind that the job scope itself is not appealing and lacking in future prospect? One thing for sure, the bosses in SME lacks vision and only interested in maintaining the present.

    They do not talk about growth of the company’s business, let alone the growth of the employees. Which is to why they keep going for low cost of operation and value cheap labour. As society gets more sophisticated, so are the demand for better job quality. Tin Pei Ling should ask the same question to herself, putting herself in the shoes of a job seeker, would she settle for a job in SME? If not why?

    Only when such questions are answered, Singapore can then move forward.

    • PAPPY STYLE said

      very true. even govt got such thinking. eg. SMRT and SBS Transit. They always think of reducing cost but not increasing productivity. PAP govt os coming to their dead enf. We really need a change.

  7. Blue Nights said

    Dear Ms. Tin,
    Here are a few suggestion, and they come to you FOC.

    1. Go talk to the SMEs again (whoever these people you claimed spoke to you) and set them up with those seeking help at Transitions and help broker jobs for those looking for work (like that 40 something engineer who has been looking for employment) at a decent pay scale.

    2. And, you can also set up a Facebook account where the sole purpose is to connect potential employers with job seekers.

    3. Give your name and contact to all Voluntary Welfare Organisations as the go to person for anyone experiencing hardship due to having no job. With your star power, they will be working in no time.

    • i say what i think only... said

      that would be too hard work for her isn’t it? should we give her commission for brokering such job deals? 15k isn’t alot of $ to warrant so much action from MP, despite being voted in by people.

    • Angry Stone said

      Are u giving solution? … then why the hell should we pay her 15k a month? Or did she asked u ” what do u think?”

  8. A resident in TPL's ward said

    In my eyes, she has zero credibility. I suggest she gain a few more years of actual working experience first. Maybe join a private company and work her way up the ladder. Or, better still, start her own company and bring it a success. Then when she says she “understand”, I’ll believe it. Right now, she’s probably parotting what she’s read about from somewhere. I’m not sure that even those in position of authority will pay much attention to what she says, much less act based on it.

    The only reason why she’s elected is that she’s in a GRC. Period. So please sit quietly in the corner, and let the rest of the adults in your team make the noise. After all, you came in as a passenger, so please behave as one.

  9. Naivety said

    Allo Tin Pui Ling!

    Are you sure that the current unemployment rate in Singapore is only at 2.1% (i.e., virtually full employment) ka?

    Don’t try to be funny leh as the real unemployment rate in Singapore should be 12.1% instead!
    You obfuscate the data to make the rate looks good & nice desu!!!

    • i say what i think only... said

      not actively looking for work (their definition), those sick and weakly no need to work (despite their need for $$$), those who never contact CDC (got what use) etc. all omitted conveniently. please show us how to come to this 2.1%, department of stats. i was jobless for 9mths last yr and i doubt i am in this 2.1% figure. how did i get excluded

    • PAPPY STYLE said

      自 欺 欺 人 !
      自 欺 欺 人 !
      自 欺 欺 人 !
      自 欺 欺 人 !
      自 欺 欺 人 !
      自 欺 欺 人 !
      自 欺 欺 人 !

  10. Fence Sitter said

    Just wondering if she ever ask them, what kind of workers are they looking for? What kind of job are the workers looking for? If you ask a manager to do a executive role with a higher executive pay, What Do You Think?
    Such incomplete information and you expect us to believe you!!! Maybe after the interview process they find that they have no future with these SMEs who have no vision or anything, so what future is there for them?

  11. I am Singaporean said

    The 2.1% I believe is taken from the entire population in Singapore including locals, PRs, New Citizens, and all Passes… Henceforth there is a figure of 2.1%…. Should they take out the PRs, New Citizens and the Passes… Taking in considerations only the Real Singaporeans…. Might be an astonishing figures… But again… 5million populations…Taking in considerations total workforce for Singapore is 2.5MILLIONS… so 2.1% is also a BIG FIGURE OF 50000 People. Multiply that with 3 in a household…..

  12. NoBrain said

    The PAP gov mass import foreigner worker and claim unemployment rate only 2.1%.
    This is like attracting billionaires here to push up the per capita income.
    In reality singaporean unemployment rate is high and the income at the middle and low bracket remain pathetic.

  13. numico said

    Have all of us wonder why in Singapore, those in high managing level (CEO, director, manager, executives, etc) is getting high pay (eg, our ministerial pay is highest among the developed countries) while the lower level labour is getting a very low pay?? (cleaner < 1k, even bus driver salary is less than taiwan)

    • kaypoh said

      Solution : peg their salaries to cleaners & bus drivers….very soon we have the first million dollar cleaners & bus drivers.

    • kaypoh said

      Solution : peg the MP’s salaries to cleaners & bus drivers….very soon we will have million dollar cleaners & bus drivers!

    • Angry Stone said

      All MP Salary should be tie with the average mid/low income pay, If they want higher salary then they have to fight for the workers to rise their salary.

  14. kaypoh said

    Open Kate Spade factory. Salary in handbags….sure many takers !!! Lead by example.

  15. Get foreign labor in with a 2 year working visa which is not renewable. No marriage of convenience with locals to obtain PR status.

  16. Busybodyl said

    This CB trying to stage a story so that the papies can bring in more trashes….. Well done!!!! U can score more point if u……..

  17. Singaporen said

    Really brainless of her to ask sme. Of course they will defend themselves and fight for cheaper workers. If u really want to know, talk to Singaporeans.

  18. J said

    Hi TT Mods, you often claim other sources of news try to “cover up”. I’ll like to call you out on this one. I also categorically state that I am not a big fan of TPL, but I say give credit where credit is due.

    In TPL’s FB post, which is the source, TPL ended her post with…

    “I believe the current moves to constrain foreign labour force growth is the RIGHT long term measure, especially so given the limited physical capacity we have. In a way, Singapore HAS to go into “cold-turkey” after years of allowing huge inflows of foreigners.”

    She further noted this would most likely be a dragged out process as SMEs transition to the new reality that cheap labour will no longer be readily available.

    So TPL msg was really about: While SMEs are facing difficulty to hire, Singapore should not be blatantly bringing in more FTs. SG need to raise productivity, so curb the FT influx we must. (basically, TPL is agreeing with NOT bringing in more FTs)

    Of cos, talk is cheap. Action speaks volumes. So what TPL does next will provide more illumination on the subject. Neverthelss, your title and blogpost implied the direct opposite of what TPL msg intended. Would like to hear your explanation why are you twisting / conveniently ignoring the crux of TPL’s FB post.

  19. said

    It is obvious TPL is disconnected with the general public.

    Being an Auditor for couple of years, I wonder where is the Scrutiny mindset that’s inbuild in her.

    One of the answer I can give the general public on why SME are having problem hiring Singapore.

    Admin cum Accounting job –
    Package $800-$1200 per month
    Leave – 7 per year
    AWS without bonus
    5 days work week

    While the SME owner are earning like….

    The amount quoted is true and not adjusted for any effect.

    Also I do understand that $1,000 is enough for HDB flat but maybe not enough for average Singapore to contribute to our aging family members.

    So tell me fellow Singaporean, will you take up the the role mention above? or prefer to join some MNC for a higher & benefit package. It sadden me further by our advice from labour union.. anyway in a nutshell, I’ve totally lost faith in P-A-P

    I would like to post this question to TPL.. Are you really serving the public or trying to defence GCT and your fellow ‘Company’ Board of Director initial decision?

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