Fortunately, the findings did confirm that Job Security, Healthcare and Housing are top concerns among the electorate. Next in order of decreasing ranking, Caring Government, Safety and Security, Public Transport and Education System kept Singaporeans awake at nights. We have heard the placating platitudes about Healthcare, Housing and Education System, but nothing about the elephant in the room, Job Security.
Globalisation is always fingered as the bad guy, and "competition" is the scape goat when jobs are lost or taken away.
Wu Jiaping (not his real name) is one of 200 PRC imports who will be studying at our local universities. He is spending one year at a preparatory school to brush up his competency in English before starting his 4-year degree course, to be followed by a 6-year bond working in Singapore. Wu will be spending 11 years here, 5 years of which are on a scholarship funded by Singapore taxpayers, which includes a generous stipend of $400 pocket money each month. This is way more generous than the School Pocket Money Fund allowance that selected Singaporean children are given for school-related expenses, such as buying a meal during recess, paying for their bus fares or using it to meet their other schooling needs (Primary school beneficiaries receive $55 a month, secondary school beneficiaries $90, post-secondary institutions like Polytechnics $120). Wu said his batch is studying engineering, which means 200 engineering jobs have been allocated for this "imported competition". There are other batches involving other disciplines of study. How many more jobs are set aside for the foreigners is any body's guess.
The OSC survey report, like the White Paper, is unsigned, so we don't know who to approach to ask why the respondents to the survey felt Job Security is a top worry. Perhaps they are resigned to the fact that competing for jobs on even basis is already an uphill task, and putting faith in meritocracy to ensure their survival. Blissfully unaware of the loaded deck they have been dealt with.