Dear Editor,

It is with much exasperation that I am penning down this note and I hope you can help share with all fellow readers, the predicaments local start ups like us face not just both in rental and labor costs but also the near inability to obtain any support from MTI or EDB!

I am running a local bubble tea chain which has been shrinking due to my immense difficulties in recruiting suitable local staff as after deduction of the hefty rental superimposed by Capitaland and material costs, I can only afford to pay a Singaporean no more than $1250 for a 5 day work week. As I really have no takers, MOM thus approved all my Malaysian and China work permit applications.

Then came the most troubling part that I later discovered, most of my foreign staffs last no more than 3 months and I found out that MOM has been liberally approving their requests to freely quit my company in favor of joining another elsewhere for a higher wage. Hence I found myself in the same manpower situation as before.

I personally would love to hire Singaporeans first and I hope our honorable WP MPs like Mr LTK whose speeches I follow and is coincidentally a businessman himself, can give our desperate cries an adornment motion in Parliament as we cannot expect the SCCCI NMP to be doing anything without prior permission from his taskmasters! The evident gloomy spirit and mood for this Chinese New Year is only expected to worsen in coming months when our overly dependent manufacturing economy contracts with many layoffs and I would like to see if Lim Swee Say keeps his promises to all Singaporeans made at the last GE to protect their rice bowls and create jobs for Singaporeans?

Rocky Tan

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