WP plan could send economy into tailspin: Iswaran
The Workers Party's proposal to stop taking in additional foreign workers until 2020 is drastic and very risky, Second Minister for Trade and Industry S. Iswaran told Parliament on Thursday. -- ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM
It will speed up business closures and cause Singaporeans to lose their jobs. The economy could spiral downward, and result in a loss of the country's reputation in the business and investor community.
Mr Iswaran added that the opposition party's idea to rely only on raising the resident labour force participation rate by 1 per cent every year is an "extreme freeze" scenario that Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean painted in his speech that opened the population white paper debate on Monday.
Turning to a driving analogy that WP secretary-general Low Thia Khiang first made during the 2011 General Election, Mr Iswaran said the WP proposes "to jam-brake", and put the economy in a tailspin.
The Government, however, is slowing down economic growth in a way that will "achieve a smooth landing".
WP is not exactly asking to jam-brake. It is just asking to slow down the immigration intake. But that's not the issue here. The issue is the alarm bells sounded by Iswaran that business closures would be sped up if we slow down immigration intake.
Doesn't Iswaran's statement expose what we've always suspected? That is, the govt has been too dependent on foreign labour? Not that these jobs cannot be filled by locals. You see them almost everywhere. From waiters and waitresses, admin clerks, customer services execs, tele-marketeers. You mean Singaporeans don't want these jobs?
PAP is the one who has been speeding. It has been speeding so much that any Tom Dick and Harry is able to land in Singapore, get a work permit and presto, be working in no time. Immigration policy should always be taking in the people with the skills we want and/or need. Not just anybody who resembles a human being.
But PAP doesn't care. It simply takes in anyone till our infrastructure is bursting at the seams. Not to mention these immigrants are competing with Singaporeans for jobs that can be done by locals.
It is PAP who has been speeding in an already congested car park in the first place. If you don't speed, jamming the brake would be as good as an emergency stop. The fact that it spins shows you have been speeding in that over congested car park.
Wake up, Iswaran.