Foreigners pave the way for new industry sectors -
This was the case during the early years of industrialisation when companies like Rollei, Seagate, Hewlett Packard, etc, pioneered manufacturing operations for cameras, Winchester disk drives, computer peripherals, etc, and trained a legion of line production staff. More important, they transferred the technology to local staff and then the expatriates went home. Is that the situation with the biomedical sciences and aerospace engineering examples quoted?
Foreigners provide the buffer for firms to grow or downsize quickly -
Shipyards always have had a bad rap, jobs there are associated with the 3 Ds - dirty, dangerous and demanding. A CEO of a local yard was honest to admit that they are just big time subcontractors, the real engineering is done by overseas experts. They even have their own terminology for foreign labour, such as NTS, meaning non-traditional sourced. They'll close shop in a hurry during a business downturn, employee loyalty is not an option. Ask the many retrenched middle managers driving taxi cabs.
Foreigners complement the domestic workforce -
In a perverse twist about jobs shunned by local workers, MTI claims consumers will have to pay more if the retail and F&B employers run out of cheap foreign workers. Well, we'll be happy to see the extra money go to our own Singaporeans manning the check-out counters than the imports from PRC who can't speak English. It is obvious that the foreign talents have spread from the hot and dusty construction sites to the air conditioned environs where no locals have shunned. That includes those cushy IT jobs.
Foreigners add diversity to the workforce -
How is that even a justification for more foreign influx? What economic advantage awaits P&G's setting up a beauty and male grooming facility? Sure we know Minsters with bad haircuts like Lui Tuck Yew's are in dire need of an extreme makeover, but do we really care? Ptui! Next, they'll be saying A*Star's Center of Excellent in Advanced Packaging is strategic in selling the national conversation package.
Foreigners build Singapore's physical and social structures -
Ah, the olde argument about builders of road and houses, and now filtered down to the nursing homes and hospitality suites. The fact is that there are lots of retired nursing staff who can take up the slack except for the availability of cheap alternatives who abuse our senior citizens at places like the Nightingale Nursing Home.
Asked if the hard sell was a prelude to the reversal of tightening of the inflow of foreign workers, Minister Lim Hng Kiang said, "No, I don't want to go into that". And why not, pray tell - is it hurting the GDP bonus?
|What Foreigners Have Done|