SUBJECT: Issues and effectiveness of measures to curb anti-foreign sentiments in
One of the diverse issues which have caused lots of unhappiness among many Singaporeans in the recent years is the influx of foreigners and immigrants into Singapore (Kwang, 2012). This issue dates back to as early as in the 1970’s where Singapore opened its doors to foreigners particularly to Malaysia, being Singapore’s neighbouring country. This Malaysians who came to Singapore were low skilled foreign labourers. But since early 2000, Singapore’s floodgates were opened too wide to welcome a surge of foreigners and immigrants to curb the problem of dwindling population and to ...view middle of the document...
The most rapid (absolute) increase in the foreign-born proportion of the labour force occurred in the 2000s when, following decades of healthy growth, Singapore's nonresident workforce increased 76.8 percent from 615,700 in 2000 to nearly 1.09 million in 2010 (Yeoh & Lin, 2012). About 870,000 of these new arrivals are low-skilled workers primarily in the construction, domestic labor, services, manufacturing, and marine industries (Yeoh & Lin, 2012). The remaining 240,000 are skilled and generally better-educated S-pass or employment pass holders, along with a small number of entrepreneurs (Yeoh & Lin, 2012). The size of this group has also increased rapidly due to intensive recruitment and liberalized immigration eligibility criteria (Yeoh & Lin, 2012).
Policy towards Low-Skilled workers
As more and more Singaporeans work their way up to better education, better paid, better skilled jobs, many are reluctant to take up low-skilled jobs that pay low wages. Singapore government is left with no choice but to hire foreign-born workers to fill up these positions. Since the 1970s, Singapore government has ensured through the implementation of policies that unskilled and low-skilled migrants remain a transient workforce and also have guarded against excessive permanent migration of those with fewer skills (Yeoh & Lin, 2012). The government has managed this through a series of measures including the work-permit system, the dependency ceiling (which regulates the proportion of foreign to local workers), and the foreign-worker levy (Yeoh & Lin, 2012). Strict rules and regulations have been put in place by the government for foreign-born workers to follow and failing to do so will result in repatriation without exception (Yeoh & Lin, 2012).
Policy towards Highly Skilled Foreign Labour
Singapore's main economic strategy is developing Singapore into the "talent capital" of the global economy (Yeoh & Lin, 2012). To achieve this goal, Singapore loosened some of its immigration policies thus making it easier for highly skilled foreigners to get PRs and citizenship here (Yeoh & Lin, 2012). The government also came up with various programs to attract foreign talent such as company grant schemes to ease costs of employing foreign skilled labour and recruitment missions by government agencies (Yeoh & Lin, 2012). Unlike the low-skilled workers, high-skilled workers hold P, Q, or S employment passes that are much less restrictive and confer greater benefits (Yeoh & Lin, 2012). Foreigners holding employment passes allows them to bring their family members, they are not subject to levies, able to apply to become PRs or citizenship and can seek employment at all work levels (Yeoh & Lin, 2012). To introduce more...