Unfair hiring practices by firms should have been addressed before the pandemic and economic crisis

Year: 2020

In response to Manpower Minister Josephine Teo’s comments on reviewing the hiring practices of companies whose “Singaporean core has been weakening”, FMG CEO Devadas questions why it has taken the pandemic and consequent economic crisis to address the issue:

“FMG agrees with the Minister of Manpower that her Ministry should have closer surveillance of firms with an overconcentration of a single foreign nationality in their workforce.

However, we ask the obvious question of why she has waited till a pandemic and its consequent economic crisis to pay attention to such a long-standing and well-known issue.

The government is making a virtue out of a vice. The vice has been decades-long neglect to perform such a surveillance function, which has permitted such a practice to go largely unchecked and thereby become entrenched. Secondarily, she has not articulated what the consequences for firms found to fit this description will be. Without the provision of teeth, such policy announcements are lip service to public sentiment and not a true bite at the problem.

Singapore politics should be the politics of conviction, action and dealing with hard truths. These are virtues for which we are internationally known and respected.

We urge the Minister to maintain these standards as they have stood Singapore well in good times and bad. It is also important to apply such surveillance across all sectors and sizes of companies and not cherry-pick. FDI attracted by the EDB and by the MAS cannot be excluded. “