Foreign Talent

The Issue With Our Foreign Talent Is Quality, Not Quantity!

By May — Recently, Tan See Leng announced the new foreigner recruitment plan, Overseas Networks and Expertise (ONE) Pass. Foreigners don’t have to be employed to get the pass, they just need a history of earning $30k a month. This pass is apparently supposed to attract the best overseas talent.

However this begs the question. Why do we keep trying to recruit more foreign talent when the issue is not quantity but quality?

Singapore has brought in many talents so far, but the results of their “talent” are not clear

Our economy has been opened for the longest time. CECA was signed in 2002, and it was supposed to enable skills transfer. Yet, if the skills were really transferred, why do we still find the need to take in more and more global talents?

In fact, from many people’s experience, a lot of these “talents” come in with the purpose of either making Singapore a stepping stone for themselves, or to bring their entire village here!

Singapore’s talents have so far mostly come from one country

Tan See Leng previously shared that 25% of our employment pass holders are from India. This is thanks to CECA. However, if we are really about trying to attract global talent, shouldn’t we be looking everywhere around the world?

So many other countries have much more to offer. In fact, India isn’t even top in most of the industries we require. Why is our government so engrossed in one particular country that doesn’t even have the best track record? Think about all the fake university certificates and scam businesses they have there!

Singapore is not attracting the right talent

Related to the earlier points, we are really not attracting the right talent to help our society. These “talents” we are getting merely account for short-term income and population growth. They are not here to develop Singapore.

“I asked the Minister whether we have been attracting the right kind of talent, since 95% of the EPs currently do not meet the ONE Pass requirements. It is a fact that we have attracted many foreign PMETs who are willing to work at lower wages compared to Singaporeans. Initially, they created jobs for Singaporeans because cheap labour allowed the uncompetitive companies to survive and the bigger companies to cut cost. But over time, these companies are likely to retrench more and more high-cost Singaporeans to boost their bottom-line. Thus, the older Singaporean PMETs are the most vulnerable.”

Leong Mun Wai

Singapore should not be spending more on foreign talent than local citizens

It’s been so many years of taking in “talent”, yet apparently our people are not good enough so our government thinks we need even more talents. This is ridiculous, because it’s been 17 years of CECA, and we still don’t have enough local tech talents? Means the “skill transfer” is not happening! Also means that our education system really needs to change!

How can we only spend 3.6% of GDP on education but 5-6% in the OECD? Singaporeans are not nurtured nor given enough opportunities by our government. This is because the government is giving opportunities to people outside. This is gravely disappointing.