Singaporeans fear losing jobs to foreigners

Singapore, January 14:

Nearly nine out of 10 Singaporeans fear foreign professionals will take their jobs, and oppose efforts to woo them to the city-state, the Sunday Times reported.

More than half the 448 people polled by the paper’s publisher, Singapore Press Holdings, believe the city-state has allowed enough foreign talent in and should stop trying to attract more. Singapore has aggressively stepped up efforts to attract more talented foreign professionals to boost its labour pool and address a baby shortage.

The government has said attracting talented foreign migrants is crucial to Singapore’s long-term competitiveness. But the campaign has triggered insecurity among locals.

The survey showed 43 per cent believe the government is more concerned about foreign talent than its own citizens and doubt the move will help create jobs.

Recent moves by the government to hike healthcare charges and school fees for foreigners should address the perception that the government cares more for them, MP Halimah Yacob was quoted. “This change will create a sharper distinction between the rig-hts and privileges of citizenship compared with non-citizens,” she said. Statistics show 18 per ce-nt of the 4.4 million population are foreigners.