Transitioning is priviledged recently to assist several local employers out to hire our local jobless PMETs.
Unfortunately, I have met some who told me point-blankly that they don’t hire our jobless locals out of meritocracy but more to fill up the employment quota so that they can hire more foreigners later on!
Our employers also preferred to hire foreigners first and then later fill up remaining vacancies with our local workers so that they can hire more foreigners later on.
Its always the cost factor advantage plus foreign workers tend to be more obliging when it comes to working longer hours as their work permit will tie them down at least for the first two years for a S-Pass executive.
A S-Pass application requires a minimum salary of $2000 and educational qualification of a diploma and above.
I am not surprised if local workers are let off after a few months of being hired when the employers have managed to hire all relevant foreigners with the new local topping up. However, this allegation is unsubstantiated.
One local employer even informed me that employment agents have approached him to hire some foreign executives who have pay the agents in advance for work assignments – regardless if the foreigners have relevant work experience or bogus educational qualifications.
I am not surprised if our employers have a bonus pay out through the agents if they decide to take up the initiative!
Employers also sometimes draw out dubious salary cut-back, all done under-table and agreed by our desperate foreign workers unwillingly, as its better to stay employed with a lesser salary in Singapore than remain jobless back in their own countries.
Moreover, the lesser pay check could still be worth many times more back home.
Too much money changes hands in the foreign employment trade which warrants the strick intervention of our ineffective clueless watchdog – Ministry of Manpower.
Either they are oblivious to such happenings or are slow to tackle the massive financial influence of the foreign employment trade.
To be fair, many employers also cite the lousy working attitude of our local workers for the preferred hiring of foreign workers. They also mentioned that our locals joh hop alot and refuse to put in extra hours when required.
“I won’t even hire a local worker if given the choice. Foreign workers are my first priority nowadays,” declared a local SME employer much to my annoyance.
This means that a local graduate arms with a degree from our prestigious universiy will have a tough time competing with foreigners who could not even converse properly in the English language and whose qualification could be hailed from a dubious third world university.
One local employer even mentioned that his company will close down without foreign workers as most local workers he hired so far have all quit within three months.
He opens six days a week and working hours are from 11am to 7pm.
How could a local employer speak so badly of his own people and declared the world of foreign workers even if its the truth?
I believe that the desire to make more money among our local employers has split the country than anything else.
The Small and Medium Enterprise sector has hired more people than any sector in Singapore and remains the biggest employer despite it’s shortcomings.
I am not surprised however if more than half of the hirings are foreign workers.
I heard recently that our Prime Minister is worried that there will be a serious rife between the native and new citizens.
He is also concerned if we will stand together as a nation when there is a serious situation such as a war-like occurrence.
I believed that the situation here is already very serious if our own local employers could not look beyond economics and hire our own people.
Chronic unemployment and under employment among our local PMETs especially above the age of 40 years will certainly cause social instability in the near future and more so if they see that newly-converted citizens are gainfully employed and living in better conditions than them.
A cursory view of many of the offices I visited recently always reveal young foreign workers diligently working away sometimes in deplorable work conditions.
Many barely tip the age of thirty years old and Singapore workers are in the minority nowadays at the work force.
Many are from third world countries such as Philippines, India or Myarmar whereby a work stint abroad is like a God-sent intervention for them.
They will work 24 hours if they have to in first world Singapore to please their employers.
Many also dream of becoming a PR and then citizen if possible as its almost a dead-end if they remain behind in their own countries.
With little protection from our government and our inept lax labout laws, many Singaporeans have found themselves displaced and alienated at the work force.
Already, our local executives have to battle age and racial discrimination at the work place, it will be an uphill task if they have to bear with preferential hiring for foreign workers.
Unless our government and employers change their hiring expectations, I am not surprised that there will be much disharmony and unhappiness among the population in the near future.
Written by: Gilbert Goh