Ng Eng Hen urged Singaporeans to play their part in achieving ‘balance’ between ‘foreign talent’ and economic growth
Posted by temasektimes on July 15, 2012
Though it is the government which opens the floodgates to foreigners with little proper planning a few years ago, Singaporeans are now asked to ‘play their part’ in achieving a ‘balance’ between economic growth and foreign talent by Defence Minister Dr Ng Eng Hen.
Speaking on the sidelines of a community event, Dr Ng said it will always be difficult to do so, and added that Singapore should not pretend that it is going to be easy.
“The balance depends very much on what Singaporeans are willing to support. Because if you tighten too much, your jobs are at risk. And not only your jobs, because you become less competitive. But not only that, for example in essential services, we need people to build our homes, man our hospitals, so on and so forth. Your quality of life will be affected,” he said.
Most Singaporeans have no problems with foreign workers who are taking up jobs shunned by Singaporeans such as those in the construction and marine industry, but not with the PMETs who are competing directly for positions which can otherwise be filled by them.
Despite the government being the mastermind of the unpopular immigration and labor policies, Singaporeans are now asked to ‘support’ the balance:
“On the other hand, we are reaching the limits of some of our land, our ability, our transport, our housing, so we have to adjust to that. And I don’t think that it’s only the government that will have to decide this. Singaporeans must also support the balance.”