ELECTION GOODIES: THE “JOBS FOR S’POREANS FIRST” WAYANG HAS BEGUN?

38 firms on watchlist for not considering Singaporeans fairly for jobs 

According to the Straits Times news report “MOM places 38 firms on watchlist for not considering Singaporeans fairly for jobs” (Aug 13) – “Out of 150 firms the Manpower Ministry (MOM) called in for talks over the past year, 38 have been identified for closer scrutiny as they are not doing enough to hire and groom Singaporeans.”

Why never disclose how many jobs went to S’poreans?

Since MOM has such detailed data – why does it not just simply disclose the number and percentage of jobs listed in the national jobs bank since it started in July last year – that went to Singaporeans?

What are the industry averages for “low ratio of Singaporeans to foreigners”?

As to “He was referring to firms that have a low ratio of Singaporeans to foreigners compared with the industry average, and who are weak in their commitment to fair consideration of Singaporeans when it comes to hiring and developing staff” – why dont we disclose what are the “industry” averages, so that we can see for I believe the first time ever – how bad the ratios are?

What are “unusually high proportions of foreigners”?

As to “On top of the 150 firms, another 100 firms were also identified for MOM to work with as they have unusually high proportions of foreigners for their industries, which include infocomm, finance and insurance, construction, and wholesale trade” – similarly what exactly are the ratios for “unusually high proportions of foreigners for their industries”?

Why never investigate companies for discrimination?

Why make a determination of discrimination based apparently solely on “ratio of foreigners”? Why are we not actually investigating these companies as to whether they did discriminate against Singaporeans?

In other words, if you think companies are discriminatory – investigate them, instead of simply asking them to be more “responsive or cooperative” to improve their “ratio” .

Otherwise, in a sense, all past discrimination will be simply “forgotten”.

Why take so long to ”reveal the breakdown of companies for the first time”?

As to “These firms will have their Employment Pass (EP) applications looked at more closely by the ministry, and could even be banned from hiring foreign professionals if they do not cooperate, said Manpower Minister Lim Swee Say on Thursday, revealing the breakdown of companies for the first time” – why did it take so long (more than a year since the national jobs bank started, and years since the huge influx of foreign PMETs) to “reveal the breakdown of companies for the first time” and take more concrete action, given that anecdotal evidence is abound of Singaporeans who hardly get any interviews after applying for scores of jobs through the jobs bank?

Why so many S’poreans get hardly any interviews?

If only 38 companies (out of how many companies in total in the jobs bank system?) appear to be discriminatory – why is it that anecdotal evidence is abound of Singaporeans who hardly get any interviews after applying for scores of jobs through the jobs bank?

Can still continue to hire foreign professionals?

Also arguably, the above announced measures may not be effective, because these so called “identified for closer scrutiny” companies are still allowed to submit EP applications and can still continue to hire foreign professionals.

Why not freeze their applications for not just the EP, but also for the S-Pass and work permits, as well as foreign pass and permit renewals?

The “employ S’poreans first” wayang?

As to “They will be asked to provide details for EP applications such as the number of Singaporeans who applied and were interviewed for the posts, and whether existing Singaporean employees were considered for the posts” – we do not seem to be addressing the problem of discrimination against Singaporeans concretely.

Are you telling us that all this while – EP applications were never assessed in the light of whether there was any discrimination against Singaporeans?

You mean we set up a national jobs bank to be Singaporeans first – but did not bother at all as to whether any Singaporeans who applied were actually interviewed or not found suitable vis-a-vis the foreigners eventually hired?

Wait how long for companies to be “unresponsive or uncooperative”?

As to “Should there be ‘double weak’ firms that are unresponsive or uncooperative, they will have their EP privileges curtailed,” said Mr Lim, in a post on the MOM blog” – isn’t the fact that their statistics are discriminatory against Singaporean job seekers sufficient grounds to investigate and/or take immediate punitive action, instead of waiting for an unspecified period to determine whether they are “‘double weak’ firms that are unresponsive or uncooperative” – before curtailing their EP priviledges?

How many jobs lost already?

With all the above “questionable” policies and practices of the MOM – how many Singaporeans have lost their jobs to foreigners?

What about PRs who are also foreigners?

By the way, all this talk is about foreigners – what about permanent residents (PRs) who are also foreigners – since companies can employ zero Singaporeans with all their “locals” employees being PRs?

Win battle lose war

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