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Tan Chuan Jin: Efforts to reduce number of foreign workers on the ‘right track’

Posted by temasektimes on October 1, 2012

The government’s efforts to reduce Singapore’s perennial dependence on foreign workers are on the ‘right track’, declared Acting Manpower Minister Tan Chuan-Jin.

In a blog post on Sunday, Mr Tan wrote that the growth in foreign manpower in the first half of this year slowed to 34,100 – a seven per cent drop from the same period last year.

Though the number of employment pass (EP) holders dropped marginally by 700, more than 14,200 S Pass holders were added to the workforce.

According to latest government statistics, foreigners now make up 38 percent of Singapore’s population.

In the blog post, Mr Tan said Singapore cannot grow its foreign force without limits, but tightening must be done at a pace that businesses can adjust to.

The pro-foreigner Workers Party had earlier slammed the government’s efforts to reduce the inflow of foreigners, claiming that the move will hurt small and medium enterprises.


29 Responses to “Tan Chuan Jin: Efforts to reduce number of foreign workers on the ‘right track’”

  1. teo cheap buy said


    • Baljeet Kumar said

      “Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me”.

      Yes, enough of BS. We have had it with their lies and broken promises.

      There is only one thing left to do and that is to vote for more alternative voices.

      Please don’t expect a leopard to change its spots.

  2. Danny said

    The only way to SIGNIFICANTLY reduce the number of foreign workers in Singapore is for Singaporeans to also significantly reduce its support for PAP. Singaporeans should convince their family and friends to vote against PAP in GE2016. Those convinced should also be asked to do the same, i.e., “pass it forward.” The PAP must be defeated big-time in GE2016 to improve the lives of Singaporeans.

    Mod’s note:

    Don’t forget the PAP’s ‘B’ team aka the ‘Wayang Party’ also support its pro-foreigner policies. Boot out the ‘Wayang Party’ from Hougang and Aljunied in 2016! Enough of these clowns leeching on public monies to ‘wayang’ in parliament!

    • Jaded said

      Pro-PAP TT mod trying to stir shit against WP again…

    • Daft Peasant said

      To Mod: if we vote wayang party out of hougang and aljunied, who will take over?
      pap? no way right?
      sdp? do sdp have the abilities? do people even vote for sdp?

      Mod’s note:

      That’s why Singaporeans need to wake up and vote for the real opposition parties, not the fake opposition aka the ‘Wayang Party’ whose dummies are worse than leeches in parliament.

    • Mod, it might be a straight fight between Team A and Team B, so the residents over there can only vote one out. And iff everyone in those two wards abstained from voting, then there might have a deadlock, and nothing may change

      Mod’s note:

      That’s why the real opposition parties must contest in every single constituency in 2016 including Aljunied and Hougang to boot out both the PAP’s ‘A’ and ‘B’ teams. Enough of the ‘wayang kulit!’

      • Daft Peasant said

        to Mod: but does the real opposition party aka SDP have the capabilities to contest in every ward in sinkie land?

        try cck grc, jurong grc……these wards are died hard fans for pappies……

      • flere000 said

        Even if they have the capabilities to contest in every ward, what are they supposed to do and do they have the capabilities to carry out what the people expect of them heck you will just make it a three way fight in Aljunied and Hougang so that the votes amongst the opposition party will split and resulting in the win of the PAP

  3. Singaporean said

    TAN CHUAN JIN can start showing Singapore his sincerity by doing spot checks on many USA MNCs now… they are hiring FTs at all cost.

    There are good positions for Singapore in these MNCs and why they are not giving to Singaporeans?

    • Welovesingapore said

      This scholar is a white horse in gahman service. His position has been reserved for him. There is very little competition in his career. How can such a person understand the plight of an ordinary citizen? He does not feel the bullying in work place by employer who takes advantage of citizen and deprivation of citizen with the FT/PR in the workforce. Please equal the pay structure by Inclusion of CPF in the FT pay.

  4. The FACT is that FOREIGN WORKERS CONTINUE TObe imported…..this guy is trying to conn children…the FACT IS THAT an additional 34,100 foreginers WAS ADDED to the LabourForce….

  5. Nico said

    Ha ha ha

    The real clown of TT mod makes me laugh.

  6. Non productive as too many foreigners are doing one simple job! said

    Non productive as too many foreigners are doing one simple job!

    Why some many workeers were employed in park works, like cutting trees, sweeping floors, cleaning floors?

    Even in some “road work”, you can see many foreigners workers doing on one project, unlike twenty years ago, similar work only need few people to do it.

    I had met few China workers here, and they also fed back to me there are too many foreigners workers doing these type of works, example in NTU…….

  7. James said

    Don’t talk cock sing song. Cut the existing number of foreign trash in sinkapoor. Let’s see action, not words. Enough is enough!

  8. Eddie said

    Point to note – THE GROWTH

    It means it is still GROWING, the numbers are still INCREASING.

    So much for wayang again.

    This CJ guy should be removed, he is not up to the job at all.

    How about letting locals find jobs first BEFORE you let the growth continue?

  9. Invictus said

    Mr Tan, can you clarify to what end if S’pore immigration policy ? If PAP targets a population of 6m and thus can be achieve primarily through immigration, then reducing the quota is just cosmetic. Your Ministry will continue to bring in foreigners to meet the target set by the PAP – National Conversation or not. This being the case, the Natcon too is just cosmetic and does not regard national sentiments. If so, it is truly disappointing.

    • Fully agreed with you…PAP only cares for their political interest but disregard national sentiments for continuing to to bringing in foreign workers/FTs at the expense of true-blue Singaporeans being displaced.

  10. Ken Lee said

    pap should give up 50% of their seat to them!!

  11. Pink Panty Loong said

    All these PAP monkeys, along with their Chimpanzee leader, are SO SO GOOD & TALENTED in giving themselves a PAT on the shoulder! The whole country has gone awry with their half-baked policies but everything is still ON THE RIGHT TRACK for them. Amazing! Hahahahaaa…

  12. Naivety said

    Foreign Worker Numbers:
    Pass Type Dec ’07 Dec ’08 Dec ’09 Dec ’10 Dec ’11 *JUN ’12
    Employment Pass (EP) 99,200 113,400 114,300 143,300 175,400 174,700
    S Pass 44,500 74,300 82,800 98,700 113,900 128,100
    Work Permit (WP) 757,100 870,000 856,300 871,200 908,600 931,200
    Total Foreign Workforce 900,800 1,057,700 1,053,500 1,113,200 1,197,900 1,234,100
    *Source: Ministry of Manpower

    I’m putting in the FTs Numbers & Trend for you all to see as apparently this Paper General, TCJ does not know how to read trend analysis & statistics properly.

    As can be seen from table above, the Total Foreign Workforce as at JUN 2012 is at a record high of 1,234,100 FTs as compared to 1,197,900 FTs in DEC ’11 (last year) & only 900,800 FTs in DEC ’07.

    Although, there is a reduction of Employment Pass holders of only 700 FTs as compared b/w 174,700 in JUN ’12 & 175,400 in DEC ’11, please remember you are not comparing “Apple to Apple” as the 174,700 numbers is only until JUN 2012 if you wait until as at DEC 2012, I’m sure this 174,700 numbers would have been doubled easily (174,700 X 2).
    *EP holders formed & occupied the bulk of the PMET jobs available in Singapore.

    -S Pass holders however, show an increase of (128,100 – 113,900) = 14,200 FTs as S Pass holders
    are brought in to fill up more junior-level PMET jobs in Singapore.

    -WP holders however, show an increase of (931,200 – 908,600) = 22,600 FTs

    Therefore, overall we infact have a Net Increase of 34,100 FTs as at end JUNE 2012 only excluding maids.

    Please note that this is not an “Apple to Apple” comparison as we are only comparing the numbers as at end JUNE 2012 with preceding End DEC 2011 numbers & we should wait until the actual numbers are out in DEC 2012 before we could actually make an accurate comparison & assessment as the increase might be 2-folds or even 3-folds by then!

    This TCJ tell lies to native peasants like us also do not know how to tell properly.
    Btw, he looks like a drug addict, talks & speaks like one when I happened to see screen shot(s) of his pathetic performance in Parliament & as if he had just awakened up & not sober yet. He just simply reads out his speech from a prepared script in advance.

    Please note that there are many jobless Sinkaporean PMETs queuing up for his job all the way from Punggol to Tuas End if he is not serious about it!

    • Marshal Chintulan said

      Yep, fully agreed with you…Naivety as this is no brainer!

      This Paper General Ass-hole is trying to con native Singaporean citizens again by showing that there is a real reduction of 700 Employment Pass Holders between 174,700 numbers As At JUN 2012 & 175,400 numbers As At DEC 2011 (174,700 – 175,400) & how can there be a real reduction when this Ass-hole is only using a Half Yearly figure (JUN 2012) to subtract from a Full Year figure (DEC 2011)??

      Instead, he should wait until end of the year (DEC 2012) to see what is the total number of Employment Pass Holders then to subtract from the DEC 2011 numbers of 175,400.

      Even people with PSLE education also can understand this concept as this is no brainer…not sure why such top calibre ministerial scholar like him do not get it at all???

  13. Robin hood said

    It may appear to be on the right track. But is it in the right DIRECTION? goodness me… Hopefully 2016 is round the next bend.

  14. david said

    PAP says we need foreign workers n talents to help drive the economy. We have taken in two millions of them liao n they r still saying the economy will stall if we don’t continue to take in more.
    In other words, using foreign talents n workers can only provide temporary solution. Otherwise, we will perpetually depend on them to keep the economy going. But to what limit?

    • Naivety said

      Do you believe such crap & stories…any proven correlations to these?

      • We need construction workers to build factories and office buildings for our workforce.
        We need them to build malls and hotels for our retail and service industry.
        We need domestic help at home so that we can put more hours at work.
        We need cleaners to clean up after us.
        But no local is willing to go into these sectors.

  15. The only way to secure every Singaporean’s interest( Singaporeans by birth during British Colonial time and their offsprings) is to immediately stop bringing in foreign workers/FTs into Singapore. If the current PAP government fails to do that, do not vote the PAP in the next GE but vote the opposition parties instead. And experience what kind of future you would be having. Not forgetting the workers party, if they are suspected to be in cahoots with the PAP just vote them out as well. Time is on your side.

  16. JAFO said

    Stop telling us about figures and percentage. Do something that we can see!
    Are you blind ?!?

  17. Manpower – Stay Calm and Think Rationally

    Of late, there have been a number of articles and news pieces on manpower, employment and the economy. The statistics and information presented paint a bright, yet somewhat bleak picture of what lies ahead for our beloved country.

    Employers in Singapore are hiring to fill new positions and they are still looking to fill vacancies arising from staff turnover, yet SMEs are having a difficult time recruiting Singaporeans for middle management and professional positions. The Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (ASME) has acknowledged that the availability of cheaper (not cheap) foreign labour has resulted in wages levels (or salary offers) stagnating at less-than-desirable levels.

    The Ministry of Manpower has reduced the growth of foreign manpower population, and have committed to reducing the foreign manpower figures further. This is taking place amidst a global slowdown and a time of uncertainty, and companies are hoarding foreign workers in anticipation of further foreign manpower quota reductions, thus risking the viability of these firms in the short to medium term. In case you’re wondering, the Purchasing Manager’s Index just shrunk, and this means the orders for locally produced goods are shrinking.

    The Prime Minister has announced that two existing institutions, SIM University and Singapore Institute of Technology, will be converted into full degree-awarding universities to accommodate the rising aspirations of Singaporeans. This is in addition to places at NUS, NTU, SMU and SUTD. Bear in mind, there are other degree pathways available – Lasalle College of the Arts offers degrees validated by Open University and Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts offers degree completion pathways with Essex University. Curtin University, James Cook University and SP Jain Centre of Management have opened campuses here. Specialist institutions like Singapore Aviation Academy and the Air Transport Training College are co-organising degree courses too. Let’s not even talk about the private institutions.

    Minister in the PMO (with or without portfolio, it doesn’t matter) has pushed for cleaners to earn at least $1,000 per month. This is happening while hawkers are complaining about higher hawker centre fees, PM Lee has warned that food prices (raw food supplies) will rise and Singaporeans are still eating the same amounts as they used to (or more). Mr Brown’s favourite bak chor mee may soon cost more.

    We look at these occurrences and we all know that these are the changes that Singaporeans (if not all, then at least a “majority”) are seeking. But this may not be the best way forward for all of us.

    If we cut back on foreign manpower in the wrong areas, we risk losing SMEs that rely on foreign manpower to do the jobs that Singaporeans would not want to do, either because of the low wages or other employment considerations. And if we artificially inflate the wages of our local workers, we will price ourselves out of the global markets. I am pro-Singaporean, but I think we, as a people, need to be careful what we wish for. There is only so much our Government can do, only so much this little red dot can influence, and if we screw it up, we are going to be in a heap of trouble. And by that, I mean shitloads.

    At the same time, companies must look at paying what Singaporeans ought to be paid, rather than what the other guy is asking to be paid. If a foreigner is willing to accept a salary of $1000 per month, while a local chap is asking for $1,500, we should take the local’s offer and make sure he / she delivers $1,500 in value every month (excluding CPF). Profit is not the only thing that matters. A business model that relies on the assumption of continuous and infinite supplies of cheap foreign labour is not a sustainable one, and we should not support such businesses.

    Increasing university places may look like a good idea. But the transformation into an economy where the majority of jobs are designed and salaried for graduates will not come that easily. We should be prepared for the eventuality of a graduate-heavy economy, but we must accept that for the first decade or so, as the industries move toward a knowledge and productivity-based economy, Singapore will see high rates of under-employment. This means that you will have graduates sitting on diploma-holder positions as these companies begin to re-structure the work their employees do so that graduates can sit on graduate jobs (and Herman Miller chairs) in the long run.

    Singaporeans need to consider what they are asking for carefully. We live in a globalized world, a globalized economy. Not everything is a matter of the Government’s will or doing. Some of it is a bitter truth.

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