Immigrants and foreign workers: Let’s talk real numbers

The PAP Government should stop trying to repackage and sell a flawed policy. PM Lee says his grassroots leaders “understand logically why we need immigration”. Well, unlike his loyal grassroots leaders, I simply do not buy his argument for excessive immigration, either logically or emotionally.

As expected, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong devoted the lion’s share of his National Day Rally speech yesterday to the topic of immigration, which has gotten many Singaporeans of all strata in society hot under the collar in the lead-up to an election year. This year he went into overdrive mode, spending a full hour citing conversations with heads of big foreign corporations and showcasing individual foreign workers in Singapore. From talented architects to hotel chambermaids, to good-looking medical technologists and bus drivers—all were used to justify his government’s excessive immigration policies.

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Low productivity not our workers’ fault: WP’s Low

Workers’ Party chief Low Thia Khiang has slammed the PAP government for seemingly suggesting that Singaporean workers have only themselves to blame for their low incomes, because of their low productivity and skills. He said it was easy to blame our local workforce for low productivity when it was the Government which opened the floodgates to foreign workers.

Workers’ Party chief Low Thia Khiang has slammed the PAP government for seemingly suggesting that Singaporean workers have only themselves to blame for their low incomes, because of their low productivity and skills. He said it was easy to blame our local workforce for low productivity when it was the Government which opened the floodgates to foreign workers.

Low was speaking Parliament on Tuesday in response to the Finance Minister’s Budget 2010 speech last week.

The Opposition leader pointed out that manual workers like cleaners and garbage collectors in developed economies are paid so much more than their counterparts in Singapore, attributing this to those countries’ more compassionate and effective policies to ensure that workers at the bottom of the economic ladder enjoy a decent and dignified life. Referring to the Government’s latest productivity drive, which is to grow productivity by 2 to 3 per cent each year over the next decade, Low wondered if low wage workers had to wait another 10 years for the wage increases which they had not seen in the last 10 years.

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