Got jobs for foreigners, no jobs for Singaporeans?

SDP’s leader, Dr Chee Soon Juan posted this on his Facebook recently:

In case it doesn’t load, it is a picture that shows two quotes. One of the quotes is from Minister Khaw Boon Wan in 2013, where he told 160 youths at one of the “Our Singapore Conversation” dialogues: “If they cannot find jobs, what is the point? You own a degree, but so what? That you can’t eat it. If that cannot give you a good life, a good job, it is meaningless”. Another quote is from Dr Vivian Balakrishnan when he visited Indonesia on 12 Jan 2016. The quote shown in the picture reads: “We believe Indonesian universities and technical institutes will produce many graduates which… Singapore companies – which are looking for talent – will be able to recruit…”

Dr Chee then asked in his caption to the post: “Don’t they discuss these things during cabinet meetings before speaking in public?” Dr Chee’s caption suggests that he thinks Dr Vivian’s comment in 2016 and Minister Khaw’s in 2013 are contradictory.

It appears that a number of people, after seeing this post, share Dr Chee’s sentiments. For example, one comment reads: “Some time I really don’t know what the government is saying ,one say not point having so many SG U graduate because can’t find job but the other one say need more graduate from Indonesia to fill up job , who r they voted to serve Singaporean or foreign ???”

Some people used this as another indication that Singapore has a liberal immigration policy at the expense of Singaporeans. For example, one comment reads: “Vivian bala (sic) wants singaporeans to be hawker while they recruit foreign grads.”

However, the way Dr Chee presented these two quotes is actually rather deceitful. Firstly, while he did quote Dr Vivian, he took the quote completely out of context and deliberately left out some very relevant parts of what Dr Vivian said. This is the entirety of what Dr Vivian said: “We believe Indonesian universities and technical institutes will produce many graduates with digital skills and we are thinking of launching a scheme, in which Singapore companies – which are looking for talent – will be able to recruit talent here, deploy them here, and provide services for the rest of the world”

Given that Dr Vivian was in Indonesia when he made that comment, it is clear that the “here” in Dr Vivian’s comment referred to Indonesia. It is obvious then that what Dr Vivian meant was that Singapore is thinking of launching a scheme where Singapore companies who want set up operations in Indonesia, and want to recruit and deploy staff in Indonesia can recruit Indonesian graduates with digital skills. What’s wrong with that? Most companies that set up operations in other countries will recruit staff who are citizens of that country. Surely we don’t expect a Singaporean company which wants to set up operations in Indonesia to strictly use Singaporeans, right? Surely they would have to recruit some Indonesians, right? So Dr Vivian’s comment in no way meant that we are recruiting foreigners to displace Singaporeans from jobs in Singapore. Thus there is absolutely no contradiction with what Minister Khaw said in 2013.

Why did Dr Chee choose to quote Dr Vivian out of context and deliberately leave out such important parts of Dr Vivian’s comments? It surely cannot be an honest mistake, right? I personally think that this is a very deceitful act. If you want to criticise the government, sure. By all means. But be factual, have rigorous analysis. Don’t do it by misleading the public. What Dr Chee did calls his integrity into question. If Dr Chee can deliberately quote Dr Vivian out of context and also leave out important parts of the comments, has he done similar things to mislead Singaporeans in the past? What else would he do in the future to mislead Singaporeans?

I think (I hope) that those who aren’t diehard anti-PAP Singaporeans would come out to express their condemnation for such acts. Some people already have done so in the comments to Dr Chee’s post. I hope more would. Such misleading posts should not be allowed to go uncorrected. We are better than this sort of gutter politics.


10 thoughts on “Got jobs for foreigners, no jobs for Singaporeans?

  1. Pingback: Daily SG: 21 Jan 2016 | The Singapore Daily

  2. choo choo,
    You really ignorant about how the world works? Even if its about job creation in Indonesia by Singaporean companies, its still means taking otherwise job creation in Singapore away. That is precisely what happen to Taiwan. Taiwanese companies started to setup in China 2 decades ago, doing the same thing they would otherwise do in Taiwan and employing Chinese workers to same thing as the Taiwanese workers. The argument then was Taiwanese workers would do higher value stuff but as a Company why not just get the Chinese workers to do what the Taiwanese do and more? So it led to mass unemployment and depressed Taiwanese wages.


    • Oh Tan Tan… You are indeed so wise! Thanks for blessing us all with your sagacity! So let’s make it impossible for Singapore companies to set up operations in other countries! Let’s mandate that Singapore companies can only operate in Singapore and only hire Singaporeans and buy Singaporean made materials! Any Singaporean companies that do otherwise will be punished by death! Our economy will surely be prosperous that way! YAY!!!


      • Choo Choo,
        Good that you recognize your doltishness. Japanese companies are all over the world but where does that leave the Japanese economy and the Japanese people … duh ? Government is trying hard to keep the MNCs (which is the bulk of the economy) anchored here spending billions to entice them to stay but here you are opening the back gate for them to leave? Great job Choo Choo!


      • Tan Tan ah Tan Tan! Again you astound us with your wisdom! So let’s implement that! Any Singaporean company that dares to set up any form of operations outside of Singapore and even so much as employ a single non-Singaporean shall have all their shareholders and directors dragged out and shot! Yay! Then our economy will be super zai number one in the world! Woohoo!!! And while we are at it, we should kick out every single non-Singaporean companies. Only Singaporean companies can operate in Singapore! Yes ah! Huat ah!


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