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Wednesday July 23rd 2014

Mr Wei Chan – a F & B entrepreneur agrees with the foreign labour influx – why?

In this online interview article, we featured Mr Wei Chan – a successful F & B entrepreneur, who responded  to our questionaire  regarding the thorny issue of the foreign influx situation in Singapore.

Transitioning: Can you please first state your educational qualifications,  salary range, age, marital status and work experience?

Mr Wei: Degree, 40 years old,  single and entrepreneur.

Transitioning: What is your  view on the recent foreign influx in  Singapore?

Mr Wei:

  1. Singapore is without natural resources and human is our key ingredient of success
  2. Our birthrate is at lowest and thus foreign influx is a must.
  3. Question lies with who and how many. Suggest more of lower wage foreign labor.

Transitioning: How has it affects you personally?

Mr Wei: It’s either we survive domestically or lose out internationally or vice versa. We will just have to make do and go around.

Transitioning: Do you think that the government has let in too many foreigners  within a short period? How many foreigners do you think should be let in?   Please elaborate.

Mr Wei:

  1. Foreign workers are needed for growth and should be let in so that Singaporeans can move up the ladder.
  2. Foreign talents should be kept at a margin
  3. Numbers not up to me to comment.

Transitioning: How do you think  the  government can resolve the current foreign influx situation?

Mr Wei:

  1. Increase priorities to Singaporeans
  2. Improve infrastructure

Transitioning: Many people have commented that there is a lack of  transparency on the foreign intake policy? Do you agree? What should the government do then?

Mr Wei:

  1. Yes. Be open and transparent.
  2. Be transparent with what they do with the levies taken in

Transitioning: Our government has mentioned that because of our low birth  rate, they have to import foeigners to solve the problem. Do you agree  with this policy? Why so?

Mr Wei: Of course. Who else will clean the roads and be maids?

Transitioning: Do you think the the current xenopobic sentiments are  unfair to the foreigners and dangerous  for social harmony? Please elaborate.

Mr Wei: Confirm. They are without facts and blindly targeting. Even china is facing manpower situation and soon when they don’t even come to Singapore, are Singaporeans ready to be bus drivers, road cleaners and bakers with 6 days work?

Transitioning: There are also very few avenues for the locals and foreigners  to intreact and integration programmes are mainly conjured by the government. Do you think that this is sufficient? Can you suggest some  other social integration programmes?

Mr Wei: Depending on which sectors. In the lower sectors, they are already interacting in their own capacity. The truth of the matter is that Singaporeans have moved up the ladder and thus this gap. You will less see Singaporeans hanging around with the Thais at Golden Mile not because we despise them but we have moved on to social network at higher level.

Transitioning: Lastly, do you think that Singapore really needs so many  foreigners in order to survive? Do you   think that the whole economy will collapse without them?

Mr Wei: Of course. I reiterate on the fact that who will clean the road, wipe the windows, build the HDBs at low price, be maids etc.

In Australia with AUD 22 per hour rate, how do businesses survive and who would want to come into the country to open up businesses? In no time, it will be a dead town. For Australia, they still can bang on natural resources when Singapore can’t

End of interview and thank you.

Reader Feedback

16 Responses to “Mr Wei Chan – a F & B entrepreneur agrees with the foreign labour influx – why?”

  1. John says:

    Local old workers who can take over foreign workers are paid such a low salary of $5 or even less for working at hawker center clearing table. The is not enough to support their living standard and the working hours are long. The government should have a minimum wage for this kind of workers so that employers do not take advantage of them,

  2. Ace says:

    We are treating workers as a commodity and hence the lower the asking wages the better it is. That being the case, employers will keep looking for cheaper sources to bring in such workers if there are no government restrictions in place. Foreign workers are needed for some industries but too many of such workers being allowed into Singapore has its side effects. The key is balance.

    The real question is whether the current ratio of foreigners to local workers is too much?

  3. jj@39 says:

    A employer’s view is always different from a employee’s view.

    S’poreans won’t necessary be able to move up the ladder just bcoz foreign workers are let in. Many FT & PR have already taken up the limited PME vacancies in each individual company. You can find many of them working in McDonald’s, SingTel, Philips, and National Oilwell Varco etc.

    Our birthrate is at its lowest bcoz PAP has make S’pore a much less ideal place to give births & nurture our next generations. The influx of foreigners will only make S’poreans more unwilling to get married & give birth bcoz which S’porean would want their next generation to live in a over-crowded environment, fighting for survival & suffer?

    Having less FT/FW won’t make S’pore lose out internationally. If it’s about costs then no matter how hard we try, we will still lose out to other countries such as PRC, Indonesia, Thailand, M’sia, India, Philippine, Viet & Cambodia etc. In term of costs, we are no match for them. Many companies have already relocated their biz in other countries due to lower biz operating costs over the years since 1990s. They don’t relocate now just bcoz we stopped the influx of foreigners. Actually, biz operating costs have risen over the years in these countries. There are a lot of social unrests & riots. Local govt also implemented higher minimum wage figures; took back land ownerships & mining rights.

    Having lesser foreigners, be it road sweepers or maids or construction workers or bakers or store keepers or factory operators or dishwashers or PME jobs etc. will force companies to scale back their biz expansion, reorganise the operation progresses, make employers to be less greedy & ambitious, make our over dynamic living environment to slow down & become less stressful.

    Jobs such as road sweepers, maids, construction workers etc. are paid with at least a minimum wage in developed or 1st class countries. As a developed country & self proclaimed 1st class country, S’pore ruling party PAP doesn’t allow implementing minimum wage & stopped exploitation, so how can we guarantee blue collar workers that they & their families are free from exploitation & poverty? If we observe other developed or 1st class countries, we can see that they have minimum wage policy & they have at least one strong non-ruling or opposition party in the parliament house to oppose any bills that will cause harm to its citizens. In S’pore, we don’t have these. What have happened to those who opposed LKY in the past?

    S’pore isn’t the only small country in the world. It’s also not the only country that is without natural resources. You can find these countries in Europe, Africa & Asia. How come they can survive w/o influx of foreigners till today & we can’t?

  4. John Lim says:

    I agree fully with jj@39.

    “Foreign workers are needed for growth and should be let in so that Singaporeans can move up the ladder”.

    This statement is a joke. We can find many Singaporean reporting to FTs. How can Singaporean move up the ladder when our immediate superiors are FTs? Sooner or later the Singaporeans will be marginalized and will have to look for another job.

  5. Ice says:

    We do not need so many cleaner and sweeper if not because of so many foreign trash that came in and little the place.

    There are many small countries in the world with small population, and they are doing fine and happy.

  6. Jackalz says:

    Japan is also a country without natural resources, yet it is successful without foreigners intake. How we explain this?

  7. jj@39 says:

    http://www.transitioning.org/2012/09/27/lady-pmet-felt-unjustified-with-wrongful-dismissal/#comment-1638762

    Based on what David & Andrew have written. I worry that having lesser foreigners will not force companies to scale back their biz expansion, reorganise the operation progresses, make employers to be less greedy & ambitious, make our over dynamic living environment to slow down & become less stressful. Employers may be still as greedy, ambitious, mean & stingy as before. They will force workers to take up more roles but don’t want to pay them more. 1 person will do 3-4 persons’ works. This is exploitation to the employees but is productivity to the employers & govt.

    There are also quite a handful of mixed reports on influx of foreigners topic. When one report reported less, next day another report reported more. Today’s newspapers just reported there is an increase of S-pass holders. I believe there is a increase of ft/fw since S’pore population has increased from 5.26m to 5.31m recently.

    LKY is a rich degree holder politician & many PAP members are also degree holders, some even have PhD. They are ambitious. They are hunger for powers. They want fame & riches. They want S’pore to be a stronger, more powerful & richer nation than before. Commercialization & industrialization are the keys to transform S’pore into the stronger, more powerful & richer nation that they dreamed of, in a faster way. To upkeep the dream, PAP must continue to let large amount of foreigners into the country to keep the economy growing; allowed exploitation in order to keep biz costs low; replace citizens that don’t want to give births.
    They want citizens to sacrifice in order to upkeep the dream whilst they are drawing high pays accompanying with good benefits. They are enjoying their lives with cars, houses, good foods, good drinks & tons of money. S’pore steadying GDP growth in the last 10 – 20yrs also didn’t benefited ordinary S’poreans like me. 440k workers were qualified for workfare income supplement as they earned >$1700/mth, that is 22% of the workforce. The rest of the 78% were earning $2500/mth after slogged for 10-12hr per day.

    Forecasts on stopping or slowing down the influx of ft/fw will halt GDP growth; population growth will contract; companies will relocate their biz somewhere else; loss of competitiveness; decrease of job figures; property price will drop…etc. These are hypothetical forecasts. It could be either true or false. No one knows for sure. But the aftermath of opening up the floodgate of foreigners is obvious.

    Many feel that S’pore doesn’t have any natural resources. But this could be wrong. What’s natural resources? It could be non-renewable resources under the ground/sea, such as crude oils, gold & diamonds etc; it could also be renewable resources such as forests, plantations & seas etc.

    So far S’pore doesn’t have non-renewable resources under the ground/sea but we have renewable resources. We used to have more in the past before commercialization & industrialization. Many forests & plantations have been uprooted to give way to factories & buildings. Marine life was destroyed by reclaimed lands. Once a tsunami hits S’pore, reclaimed lands will give way & buildings will collapse just like what happened during Japan 311 tsunami.

  8. jj@39 says:

    Correction –

    440k workers were qualified for workfare income supplement as they earned $1700/mth but how much are they earning – $8000, $10000, $15000 or more? Many are earning <$2500(less than $2500 )after slogged for 10-12hr per day.

  9. jj@39 says:

    Sorry something went wrong again. 2nd correction –

    440k workers were qualified for workfare income supplement as they earned less than $1700/mth, that is 22% of the workforce. The rest of the 78% were earning more than $1700 but how much are they earning, is it $8000, $10000 or more? Many are earning less than $2500/mth after slogged for 10-12hr per day.

  10. Owen says:

    Mr Wei Chan,

    What a load of rubbish you talking about! With the influx of foreigners, Singaporean surely move up the career’s ladder?
    What proves you have for that? Come on la, it will make the current employers more profits driven and more greedy and leading more exploition on the workers!

    Look at Switzerland and it is a land-locked mountainous country without any natural resources, yet they can do so well and do it WITHOUT FTs!! Becoz their govt believe in their OWN citizen and invest and take good care of its own people!

    So what if the workfare were given to those earning less than $1700…still they are struggling to make end meets and can’t unable to get out of the poverty circle!

    Typically a “Animal Farm” situation in SG society…

  11. jj@39 says:

    i recalled reading this news from waibao or xinming (those chinese night newspapers) in the library a few months ago.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/9191676/Swiss-village-in-Alpine-valley-votes-to-turns-its-back-on-1.2-billion-goldmine.html

    The swiss villagers want to leave a beautiful place for their descendants to live. That’s so wonderful.

  12. Dane says:

    Dont use maids and cleaners as excuse to increase population. As you said we only need maids and cleaners. Only bring in what we need, NOT any Tom Dick Harry to replace jobs that Singaporeans can do

  13. jj@39 says:

    I think Australia minimum hourly wage should be AUS$15 not AUS$22. The living environment & infrastructure in Australia are much well developed than many other low wages countries. There isn’t too many political unrest, social unrest or riots as compare to other low wage countries. There are still investors willing to invest in Australia. Australia economy doesn’t just depends on mining alone, the fishery, farms, plantations, tourism, edu biz & mfg are also contributing to their economy growth. The lands & the seas are part of their nature resources.

    What PAP hopes for is have good & cheap living environment, good infrastructure, no minimum wage policy, wage depression, no strong opposition party, increase in population, more foreigners, maximise usage of space, no social benefits, no unrest etc. This is wishful thinking. It wouldn’t work out well all the time. Must be big, must be good, must be fresh & must be cheap, where to find? How to find?

    I can’t imagine what will S’pore will be like when it reaches a population of 6.5m. Look at the distance apart between HDB blocks, it’s now getting more & more narrow. The price for a HDB flat is now getting more & more expensive but the space is getting smaller. Some of the designs are also weird. The doors or windows are blocked by walls, it is hot & stuffy living inside the flats. Without turning on the fans or air-con, you will start to sweat in 10min.

    Why blue collar workers such as drivers, cleaners & bakers must force to work 6 days/wk, whereby white collar workers can no need to work 6 days/wk?
    Not only wage is low, still have to work 6days/wk. Many blue collar workers also have to work shifts, have to work on Sat, Sun & PH. No wonder nobody want to become blue collar workers. So how can they & their family to be freed from exploitation & poverty?

    Many MNC & SME complained manpower crunch & threaten to relocate their biz. If relocating is such an easy thing w/o much consequence to consider then long time ago they would have done that, no need to wait until now. Those that can relocate have already done so since 1990s.

    Having to live in a place with foreigners dominating the district can be quite frightening. Drunks, fights, littering, prostitution activities are sometimes hard to avoid. There might be less S’poreans hanging out at Golden Mile but Mustafa centre seems to attract much more S’poreans & tourists shopping over there. Mustafa mgmt is developing Mustafa centre to become a big provision shop/grocery store. Have a lot of stuff & maximise space usage. Sheng siong supermarkets also belong to the same style. Their styles are different from US/Europe style shopping centres which are more clean, tidy, neat & spacious. It’s all a matter of how the attractions are being developed.

  14. Sal says:

    Need to overhaul S’pore education systeem first…..how many entrepeuner or invertor Spore produce?….except Mr Sim guy who created sound systems for PC

  15. jj@39 says:

    According to what i heard from a NYP biz studies lecturer, Mr Sim didn’t invented the soundcard for PC. He bought it from PRC.

    Exactly like what Microsoft did. That bought the DOS from a programmer & worked with IBM.

  16. sal says:

    If I own a business in Spore of course I will follow the same principle cheap rent, labour, raw product n maximize your profit. But what is the minimum salary to live in Spore comfortably?

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