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Ex-GIC Chief Economist wants immigration policy to be reversed

Posted by temasektimes on August 24, 2012

The relentless influx of cheap unskilled foreign workers over the past decade has depressed the wages of Singapore’s lower-income workers leading to the creation of a separate, growing class of poor citizens, said former Chief Economist to the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation (GIC) Yeoh Kam Keong.

In an interview with Yahoo News, Mr Yeoh used the term ‘the working poor’ to describe the bottom 10 per cent of working household breadwinners, who hold full-time jobs, but yet find themselves entrenched in the poverty cycle

“In other words, even if you’re fully employed, you may barely earn enough money to bring up a family decently or to improve your children’s economic opportunities. It’s a poverty in work, as opposed to poverty because you don’t have a job,” the 54-year-old said.

Mr Yeoh added that mass immigration of foreign unskilled workers has depressed the wages of working-class Singaporeans as local firms hire more foreign workers who are willing to accept lower pay, and locals are then forced to accept little or no increases in their salaries to keep their jobs.

“Therefore this policy needs to be reversed. What we need to do is be much more stringent on admitting such unskilled labour. We’ve really got no excuse to be so relaxed about this kind of immigration,” he quipped.

Foreigners now make up 40 percent of Singapore’s population. Of the remaining 60 percent who are ‘citizens’, an increasing number are born overseas.


25 Responses to “Ex-GIC Chief Economist wants immigration policy to be reversed”

  1. spotlessleopard said

    Why should Politicians who are fat cats and top civil servants care?….Singaporeans mean nothing to them.

    • SINYoobi said

      This country is a living hell for Singaporeans.

      • oldguard said

        wtf, bringing in ft to built more flats for PR to stay, and the local have to fight for a flat.

    • compatriot said

      The PM recent speech at the ND rally,impertinent or otherwise he has not redress those employers foreign or locals who discriminated against senior citizens who are amply and qualified or rather well qualified if you will,to hire them for jobs available instead these employers who toils in our land where our forefathers has spilt ther blood for the sake of Singapore hire these freaks foreigners to fatten their bellies thereby has caused untenable economic plight and predicaments to the people of Singapore of men,women and children and their families

      I urged all affected Singaporeans to position ourselves with the ultimate unity to stand and think positive from where we stood,to whereever we can expose these discriminative and disruptive employers and their locations, … so perhaps a lesson can be taught that its a mistake to take that Singaporeans are docile

      WE have voted for the government of the day that have casted the first stone and abandoned our able senior citizens to all intents and purposes with their careless and misgovern designs and attitude to forsake their livelihood to live within their deserved twilight years.

      The civil service began retiring their staff at their age of 40+ years.The private sector wags its tail with glee and followed to practise this sinful design till today

      The senior citizens in unity have a right to demand the government to defend and protect their sacred integrity as born Singaporeans and can form of a watch for survivability when the government do not and fails

  2. enough said

    it is very sad , that this nation was once everybody pride,

    but today , the papigs have turn this nation into rotten,decaying marooned ship

    wondering aimlessly with a clown and blind captain who got his job from his father

  3. Jaded said

    you think the pappies will care? they will just tell you singapore needs more FTs to survive, FTs create more jobs, FTs help to bring up the economy. Big load of bull!!

  4. Naivety said

    Before we could even get to a solution, this evil & wicked PAP Govt must first of all acknowledge that there is a problem!…Right now, all that the PAP Govt is doing is stoutly DEFENDING their policies only…

    With such ultra defensive & super self-denial attitude (like some PAP lackeys & cronies here) we might have to resort to extreme measures…to put our point across to them lah!

  5. xinxin said

    pap are lousy and selfish.

  6. It’s high time the middle-class and lower-middle class strata of the ppl wake up 2 the sad realities of their unstable economic standing, esp the PAPie Youth wing, b4 they slide down to the poverty level ‘cos of the relentless inflow of FTs. It’ll be too late if they stay complacent until the inevitable happens as change within the PAPie ruling clique thinking must start now b4 they hit bottom, when their grovelling b4 their PAPie masters wld be useless despite their loyalty. National interest, not narrow PAP party interest, shd be the paramount consideration for everyone on Sinkieland. Period.

  7. mahbok tan THE SINKI said

    BUT hor FT’s do not make babies lei …they are like babi’s only….!!!

  8. aloysius12 said

    “Poverty in work as opposed to poverty because you don’t have a job”. Well explained – no wonder ablemen like you are left out. THEY WANT YES MEN!!

  9. ahboy said

    In an interview with Yahoo News, Mr Yeoh used the term ‘the working poor’ to describe the bottom 10 per cent of working household breadwinners, who hold full-time jobs, but yet find themselves entrenched in the poverty cycle

    Its the Cost of living is Singapore is too high, thats why ppl are in poverty cycle
    We singaporeans everyday trying to meet ends meet, but everyday the goverment is making the ends further


    The supreme leeder already said, we will be replaced. They have already filled their pockets to swiss standard so if SG fails, they have their fortune to plant themselves anywhere they want. Why would they care about us?
    The totally incompetent son has mess up SG but the supreme leeder must support him. They are controlling the media, our CPF, the army, our taxes, the president…..if the useless son is removed, guess there will be untold stories to uncover. That’s what they want to do, bring in the FTs to support them as they know they leegallly lost our respects.
    The new age of techs have bring down many world corrupt leeders, it won’t be long now.;))

  11. HR said

    Ultimately, there are really lots of low-rung jobs that unemployed S’poreans will rather sit at home than to take them up. We will still need the migrant labour.
    A much better solution to improve the livelihood of the bottom 10-20% is to impose a minimal wage.
    Be it a citizen or non-citizen, anyone worth employing should be remunerated accordingly to give them a reasonable standard of living.
    It’s really shameful that in this day and age we still allow employers to pay workers a mere $450/mth for fulltime hard labor, and this is not counting the “kickbacks” that some of these workers are obliged to pay back.
    This is utter slavery.
    There is also lack of enforcement to stop local employers’ partnerships with unscrupulous recruitment agencies in China/India/Phillipines, some of whose practices are tantamount to human smuggling. I know of some economic migrants who signed contracts back in their homeland promising them jobs as admin assistants/ despatch workers but were made to clean toilets here.

    • Naivety said

      Good observation & agreed with HR fully on local employers tied-up & partnerships with unscrupulous recruitment agencies abroad to recruit & exploit cheap foreign labour & workers overseas!

      We should aim to sack all the personnel currently in the Manpower Ministry & ICA for lack of enforcement & non-compliance in this area thereby allowing rampant exploitation of cheap foreign labour!!

      This bunch of useless white monkeys in MOM & ICA not putting in a decent & honest day of work at all yet still dare to collect millions dollars in salaries per year!!!

  12. DUNCAN said

    1 by 1, more and more people are pointing at the ruling’s flawed policies.

  13. Ren said

    You are Ex-GIC Chief Economist…While you were dair…Did they listen to you? How much they listen and heed?
    Now you are ex-. you think they will listen even more?

  14. i say what i think only said

    only when u become ex-chief economist, then u dare to voice this out. did u say anything against this when u ARE chief economist at GIC? my apologies if u became ex because of your view.

  15. Malcolm said

    The only solution is minimum wage for citizens + limit number of foreigner which company can employ. But it seems that minimum wage is a taboo word in Singapore and get grown upon by both the govt and need media. I wonder what it will take to make the ruling party admit that they can’t run away from this?

  16. stevenadosan said

    Well Said. “Its poverty in work as opposed to poverty because you don’t have a job” Bottom line, 30% or more of the population were poverty in work.Cost of living is so high.Few like Mr.Liu can make it.Just see how much the couple is struggling.So called swiss standard of living!

  17. Boom said

    When you go to the extreme of one direction and reach the end, then naturally the reverse direction has to be next, unless you like to hit yourself against the wall and get hurt badly or even die.

    No one in the right frame of mind would like to in a crashing situation, unless they are …… The danger is : unawareness. Like bubble, be it property, assets or investment bubbles, no body thinks that it is bubble when in it, no body thinks that there is a limit, and that it is finite. Then when it really hits the end and “boom!”……… everyone will have a share of it……..

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