6 replies to “How I feel about foreigners moving into my homeland

  1. There are so many stories of these ‘talents’ hiring their own kind and pushing locals out of stable jobs here.
    These ‘talents’ also take the wealth they get here and bring back to their own country or countries other than Singapore. They hardly spend here coz cost of living here is so high. They go and spend around SEA.
    So, we lose jobs we HAVE the skills for
    They don’t contribute to our economy coz they don’t spend here.
    They keep to themselves and don’t gel and share knowledge at work.

    So how can this be good for us?

  2. The theory is not wrong but are you suggesting that the foreigners complimenting our workforce (which based on my experience save as for white collar jobs, is mostly jiuhukia/bu and pinoy) is more skilled than us? Please provide evidence such as for example Nursing that our NYP/NP/NUS curriculum is not as rigid as overseas education and we can slap Xiasuay Chan in the face.

    Are you also suggesting that they contribute to our tax revenue? Please provide evidence that they contribute to tax generation as they pay resident rate for income tax.

    Instead of saying why don’t Singaporeans want to do blue collar jobs or certain professions, why not pay a living wage that enables retirement adequacy and screen foreigners that compliment our workforce thoroughly? On contrast, Australia has a minimum wage at A$22+ per hour with penalty rates for weekends and public holidays. Things may be more expensive in absolute terms but is definitely affordable for someone working.

    The argument/narrative that we need to be more open and accepting to foreigners pushed forward by the mouthpieces of the government is simply bogus. From my experience, Singaporeans are accepting of foreigners. What we do not want is a dilution of our unique culture and seemingly unfiltered screening just to marginally increase our output without increasing our standard of living.

    1. Eh, thanks for your comment. 

      A few responses:

      We’ve stated in the comic that these are governments’ rationale (not just the Singapore government, but also other governments) for attracting foreigners into the country. 

A second reading of the comic might allow you to see this.

      We’ve also acknowledged that these rationales are not perfect, and there are lots of criticism of it. 

What often happens in practice is also different from its intended effect.

      So your feelings and unhappiness are valid. We did not dismiss them, and we don’t intend to. 

      This is not a piece is not one that is defending a specific government’s policies – we’re merely making an observation on the state of affairs right now, as well as what is a logical course of action one might consider taking.

All the best and good luck! I hope you find what you’re looking for. 

  3. The argument about foreign workers is very similar to the argument for free trade. The economic rationale for free trade is comparative advantage which is complex to understand but basically says that if the ratio of the cost of producing two goods in two different countries is different, it benefits them to trade with each other. Since this is almost always the case, free trade is a benefit. However this doesn’t stop people from wanting to protect local industries which are inefficient: often politics trumps economics but the truth is free trade is a benefit – just not necessarily a benefit that is evenly spread amongst the population.

    Now think what would happen if every country protected its jobs market. Nobody would be able to work overseas, no matter how suited their skills. No doubt the Singaporeans who complain about foreign workers in Singapore are balanced by those who suffer from the pathetic supply of H1B visas to work in the US because they would like to work in Silicon Valley. The truth is that all advanced countries benefit from allowing in both skilled foreigners who bring something to the party and service workers who do jobs that locals don’t want to do. Just look at how messed up the UK is post-Brexit to see what happens when you shut the door to these people. The job of governments not to shut the door but to adjust the balance so that the small number of local people who lose out from open economies are given some kind of redress through the tax and benefits system.

    Personally I think Singaporeans have little to complain about. I’ve lived in London, New York, Singapore and Indonesia and Singapore is, IMHO, hands down the best place in the world to live. The level of long-term planning, openness, taxation, government support to less well off people, sensible, balanced protection in the jobs market…..you name it, almost everything is better in Singapore compared say, to my home country (UK). You guys have no idea how good you have it compared to other supposedly first world western nations, never mind the rest of SE Asia.

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