An expat shared about the pains of working and living in Singapore. He was not allowed to re-enter our country for many months due to Covid-19 travel restrictions. His family lives here and he was heartbroken that he could not see them.
Many expats had similar experiences. They are growing anxious as we tighten our borders to prevent the spread of infectious variants. There is a lot of frustration as they feel like we cannot guarantee them job stability.
They also feel very uncertain as they cannot get vaccinated earlier. Expats are way behind the vaccination queue while Singaporeans get theirs first. They can only book their vaccination slots a few weeks later. One of them felt that this is unfair and said:
“It’s just one of the many ways in which Singapore showed it’s not super friendly to expats, and that they will always prioritize their own citizens ahead of foreigners.”
Another expat added that Singapore is making things difficult for them by trying to rely less on foreign talents and increasing their qualifying salary last year.
“[As an expat] If you’re made redundant and you’re a senior director, it’s very difficult to find something for an EP [Employment Pass holder].”
Due to our “unfriendly” culture towards FTs, many of them feel sidelined and are choosing to leave. Fewer are coming in. As for those who remain in Singapore, they are also wondering if it is better to pack up and leave. Have we neglected their interests? Is it wrong of us to put Singaporeans first and protect ourselves from Covid-19?