a community of singaporeans

Putting Singaporeans first – The Workers’ Party press release

Posted by theonlinecitizen on April 30, 2008

The following is The Workers’ Party press release for May Day received by theonlinecitizen.

Press Release (1st May 2008)

Putting Singaporeans First

The top down tripartite collaboration amongst the Government, employers and a pro-government labour union is a sure recipe for potential compromises for the Singaporean worker.

Overall employment creation in Singapore for the whole of 2007 is 236,600, surpassing 176,000 in 2006. However foreign employment rose to a new high of 144,500 in 2007. This means only 38.9% in 236,600 jobs created last year truly benefited Singaporeans.

Singaporeans will be none the better off, even if more jobs are created, when more than 60% of the jobs created go to foreigners. Although Singaporeans may participate in skills upgrading programs, many realize that promotional prospects are limited.

A certain portion of these jobs created could have been part time contract work positions. While the above statistics illustrate a rosy picture of high employment rate boosting the general public’s confidence in the Singapore’s economy, these figures require more detailed analysis to understand the actual employment status that Singaporeans are in.

Could it be that more Singaporeans are holding contractual part-time work positions, whereas foreigners might be benefiting from the full time positions created?

If this is the situation, this will disadvantage some segments of Singaporeans, resulting in less than ideal employment terms, such as compromised medical benefits and annual leave.

Singaporeans’ Societal Standing

To face the future with confidence and optimism, Singaporeans must be assured first of our societal standing in the midst of global uncertainties. Under the current top down tripartite collaboration model bold measures are taken to tackle macro economic challenges, and the impact on Singaporean workers must not be written off.

With reference to a recent report in the local media, Minister Lim Boon Heng gave an explanation to a distressed Singaporean woman concerned about losing her job to a ‘sweet young beer girl from China’ that the foreigner’s presence actually helped to draw in businesses, in turn saving the Singaporean woman’s job. Such a ‘brush-off’ comment by a ministerial authority is hardly assuring.

According to Mr Lim’s logic, is he conceding that the PAP has created an economic model whereby Singaporeans must now be dependent on the foreign workers to retain our jobs? Singaporeans must now thank foreigners for helping us keep our jobs!

As a result of this ‘unique’ economic model, the societal standing of the Singaporean worker is now being eroded in our very own country. Singapore is indeed becoming a ‘City of Possibilities‘, however, it’s not for Singaporeans but foreigners. While Singaporeans are still conceptualising our great future filled with ‘possibilities’, alas, this might already have been stealthily taken away.

Showing Compassion

The current harsh reality of rising food prices and inflation is a major concern for all Singaporeans, especially so for the lower wage workers, whose livelihood is also threatened by the increasing numbers of foreign workers.

Our government must be compassionate and be proactive to initiate more substantial measures to help Singaporeans. Whilst NTUC has initiated a food voucher program, our government should also do something on top of the initiatives by NTUC. This is not to suggest that our government should subsidise food prices across the board but they are definitely capable of giving more help.

The Workers’ Party hereby repeats our call to reduce Singapore‘s GST rate by 2% and to keep our GST rates at 5% for at least a year. We also propose that the government reduce fuel tax as a compassionate gesture to ease Singaporeans’ financial burdens.

In spite of this sombre backdrop, Workers’ Party encourages fellow Singaporeans to hold our heads high and not to lose heart. The Worker’s Party will continue to pressure the government so that Singaporeans’ privileges and opportunities are not compromised in the midst of a top down tripartite collaboration amongst the Government, employers and a pro-government labour union.

The Workers’ Party wishes all Workers in Singapore a Happy Labour Day.

Yaw Shin Leong

Organising Secretary

The Workers’ Party



31 Responses to “Putting Singaporeans first – The Workers’ Party press release”

  1. No room for Singaporeans said

    As can be seen in the article on SIA girls, the govt may indicate and push the private sector to increase the retirement age to 62, but we all know that in Stat boards itself, staff are given 2-3 year contracts. In future, all staff will have to fight for low pay, long hours as the contract are up for renewal. That is the Singapore / SIA model – short contracts. Even if there are no iron ricebowls, I think Singapore Govt and Stat boards should protect our citizens first and stop this short contract after a staff has already worked for say 5 years.

  2. Gary Teoh said

    Can’t imagine 60% of the jobs go to foreigners !

  3. PAPer said

    “Overall employment creation in Singapore for the whole of 2007 is 236,600, surpassing 176,000 in 2006. However foreign employment rose to a new high of 144,500 in 2007. This means only 38.9% in 236,600 jobs created last year truly benefited Singaporeans.”

    Mr Yaw, what is the source of your data?

    “the impact on Singaporean workers must not be written off.”

    “Could it be that more Singaporeans are holding contractual part-time work positions, whereas foreigners might be benefiting from the full time positions created?”

    Where are your economic data to support your hypotheses?

    You need good solid data to support all your claims and conclusions.

  4. Dr No said

    The National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) recently change its logo to a U hallmark, which according to their website, is made up of three ‘U’s:

    1) The small U that stands for working people of all collars, ages and nationalities in Singapore, and their families.

    2) The big U that stands for the Labour Movement, made up of our affiliated unions and associations, social enterprises, staff, members and partners .

    3) The invisible U that stands beside working people and their families at work, live and play, to help them earn a better living and live a better life.

    Notice that for working people of all collars, ages and nationalities in Singapore, and their families are small “u”. Squeeze in all nationalities and the small “u” becomes smaller. The big “U” stands for all the big shot enterprises and leaves no doubt about the priority of the union: it is not for the small “u”. To add to that, the invisible U(nion)! How appropriate! The union is practically invisible.

    Wonder how much money they spend on this rebranding exercise? Anyone knows? Shouldn’t the money be better spent on helping low-income workers?

    According to Thomson Financial, Singapore’s unemployment rate rose to 1.8 percent in the first quarter from 1.6 percent in the fourth quarter as weaker demand from the United States forced companies to cut jobs.

    No thanks to a really U(seless) and invisible U(nion)!

  5. Daniel said

    One of th source is

    “Singapore’s Employment Creation Hits Record High
    A total of 236,600 jobs were created in 2007.

    According to figures released by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), Singapore registered a record-breaking 236,600 jobs created in 2007, surpassing the 176,000 jobs created in 2006. Reflecting this, the unemployment rate in the fourth quarter of 2007 fell to a seasonally adjusted 1.6%, the lowest in a decade.

    All major sectors registered employment growth in 2007.

    The services sector had the largest employment gains of 144,100 as a result of increased hiring in the financial and professional services industry.

    The construction sector employed 40,900 more workers, double that of 2006 while manufacturing employment rose by 49,400, led by strong manpower demand in the marine and offshore engineering sectors.

    Local employment grew by 92,100 in 2007 compared to 90,900 in 2006, a new record high for 3 successive years. Foreign employment also rose to 144,500 for the year. In December 2007, there were 900,800 foreigners making up one-third of the 2.73 million persons employed in Singapore.”

  6. L said

    From the MOM publication, Labour Market, 2007

    “Foreigners increased by a new high of 144,500 or 19%, up from the gains of 85,100 or 13%
    in 2006. All major sectors added more foreigners. While the foreign job gains more than
    doubled in construction (36,000), the gains were still higher in services (65,900) and
    manufacturing (42,000), the latter supported by robust hirings in the marine and offshore
    engineering segment. As at Dec 07, there were 900,800 foreigners forming one in three
    (33.0%) of the 2.73 million persons employed in Singapore.”

    “For the whole year of 2007, unemployment rate averaged a ten-year low of 2.1% (overall)
    and 3.0% (resident), down from 2.7% and 3.6% respectively in 2006. On average, 56,900
    residents were unemployed in 2007, compared with 67,600 in 2006 and the peak of 91,200
    in 2003.”

    Erm, I think construction labourers are also included in the tabulation?
    And people working/studying overseas are also part of the unemployed?

  7. macktheknife said

    I think what Mr Yaw has said make sense even without evidents to support his statements. Haven’t you noticed the China girls cooking and serving you meals at most Kopitams? Well, I can see it with my eyes. Things are happening in Singapore!!

  8. Fever Guy said

    Sinkapore sounds so much nicer. We sinkaporeans are really in for the shit. Our jobs are harder to find, lower paying and no security of a worker union. What kind of citizenship is this? We are worse than foreigners who can call it quit and leave at will! Can we? We are all stuck in this sinking ground.

  9. mryap said

    Before we lament about “China girls cooking and serving you meals at most Kopitams”, remember it these jobs that we shun in the first place.

    I am speaking about myself. I being layed off since 2003. Even there are jobs like “cooking and serving meals at most Kopitams” available, I was too proud to do it.

    So let take a step back and see whether we ourselves are partly responsible.

  10. Fever Guy said


    My grandma got more than $2000 in ERS before election. She was very happy and must have voted the Pappies. We are definitely responsible in getting this gahmen into power because of our fear and greed. We are complacent sinkies in a sheep city. No more! Not a chance will be given to this Pappies from now on! How many sinkies are stupid enough to think that $2000 is a free gift? (no string attached?) I never was tempted not even the growth dividend can sway me anymore in fact money from this clown gahmen doesn’t work on me anymore. They better be ready for a backslash in GE2011.


  11. Fever Guy said

    I look forward to a party that dares to show conviction and i think the Reform party is one. If you cant even slap a clown in a circus then how do you defeat a warrior?

  12. Gerald said

    “more than 60% of the jobs created go to foreigners.”

    I believe MOM’s definition of a foreigner excludes Singapore PRs. (Please correct me if I’m wrong.) In other words, of the 40% of jobs that go to “Singaporeans”, many them could be just PRs. And it’s super easy to apply for PR nowadays. The moment a foreigner lands on our shores and gets his Employment Pass, he is eligible to apply for PR.

  13. Jackson said

    yep most of the jobs created eventually went to foreigners. the 66.6% pple must wake up their idea n open their eyes big big see for themselves. however, i also suspect that rich pple has a higher chance of voting for govt in order to secure their own wealth but such acts of throwing their votes away may be at the expense of the freedom of the remaining 33.4%.

  14. At Whose Cost? said

    The PAP leaders tell others to employ older people, yet the PAP gahmen itself does not.

    The PAP leaders tell others to employ locals, yet the PAP gahmen are replacing locals with foreigners and out-source many contracts to foreigners.

    The PAP leaders tell others NOT to increase workers pays, yet the PAP millionstars increased their own pay and bonuses sky-high.

    The PAP leaders tell us that more jobs are being created, yet the PAP gahmen do not ensure that these jobs go to the locals instead of foreigners.

    The PAP leaders tell foreigners to invest in Singapore, yet the PAP gahmen take Singaporeans money to invest in foreign countries and makes great losses.

    The PAP leaders tell us that they care for us, yet the PAP gahmen is actively implementing the concept of “Welfare is a Dirty Word!”

    The PAP leaders tell us to “Grow the economy at all costs”, yet the PAP gahmen ensure that it is not at their cost but at the cost of the common people’s sufferings and hardships.

  15. ronin said

    Actually, the 30+% jobs going to “S’poreans” is misleading. This is because the govt classify PRs are “S’poreans”. The govt does not want to disclose the actual unemployment rate for S’pore citizens. My guess is that the unemployment rate for citizens is actually quite bad.

    Otherwise, why wouldn’t the govt reveal the figures???? Another of those “Trust Me” from the PAP.

  16. ronin said

    We should demote Lim Swee Say and make him a beer man. Let him have a taste of his own medicine. Only then can our highly complacent ministers wake up!!!

  17. Gary Teoh said

    Lim swee say is not our chief,he cares only himself carried pap’s balls.That is why he can become minister, do u think he is talented, elite ??? A sad May day for workers of singapore. !!!!!!

  18. Fever Guy said

    We should be paying them (monkeys) peanuts and not SGD!!!! These million peanuts monkeys are really dumb. You have a big gorilla that holds the power and all monkeys submit to his will. What a ZOOapore?

  19. iluvmyfishburger said

    china beer girls compete against singapore aunties to take away their jobs, not to provide them job securities. only morons cant see the difference.

  20. laicf said

    “Foreign workers are hardworking and willing to work long hours. By hiring them, coffee shops can open late, or even 24 hours, round the clock.”
    Lee Hsien Loong (Straits Times)


    yes, yes, Dubai, these foreigners working labourers got to wake up at 5am and work till mdinight, 7-days a week, earning salaries ranging from 600 AED to 1,200 AED per month (S4155 to S$310 pm)inclusive. COmapny wil provide accommodaiton liek squeezing 10 to 15 workers into a ROOM.

    And from an employment agency, my draftsman is earning 3,000 AED pm (S$780) including transportation, medical expenses, paid leave, ticket back to India,,,,,,accommodaiton si 8 person squeezed into a one-room apartment.

    By Ah Loong’s sattement, he ever ehard of Minimum Wage for Singaporeans?
    Or “Free Market” slavery and cruel expliotattion fo freign workers in Singapore….like in Dubai?

    Did Ah Loong realsied that for a foreign worker employed on a 2-year Work permit, what he si getting is:
    – First 6-month, his salary is paying off hsi Agent fees, msicellaneous fees, etc..surviving on handouts?
    – And he is not entitled to overtime pay but to work as required by the nature of his occupation?

    Adn assuming a Singpaorean company needs to employ 100,000 per annum.
    And this company charges a S$1,000 per head fees for getting him a 2-year employment permit.

    and this Singpaore company will easily gross S$100-million per annum for doing nothing but as a lucrative fornt for engaging in modern-day “slave trading”.

    Imagine, we need 500,000 construciton workers per annum till 2015. And the overall cost of sucking the “bloods” from these hapless foreigner cosntruciton workers is at S$3,000 per head in gettign permits, training courses, airfares, agent fees, etc.

    Then, the Slavery Industry turnover per annum = 3,000 x 500,000 = S$1.5-billion per annum.

    and this obscene profits is blood money in our construction industry which made many a millionaires in players in SIngapore Cosntruciton idnsutry locaaly as well as foreigners.

    Imagine since foreign workers are allowed to work in Singpaore in the late-70s, say in 1978.

    From 1978 to 2008, a 30-year span, assume a 300,000 work-force (construction, oil & gas and marine idnustries) for 30-year and at an average cost of S$1,500 per head per annum deducted from workers’ salaries:

    30 years x 300,000 x S$1,5000 = S$13.5-billion!!!!
    And thes emoney ended up in the pockets of MOM, labour agents and cosntruction companies, locally and foreign-owned!!!!

    Indeed, multi-billion Modern SIngpaore Slavery Industry at work.

  21. laicf said

    And when I said “these money ended up in teh pockets of MOM”, I meant in terms of worker levy, safety training at CITI, attending courses at CITI COllege, test fees, etc.

    And do note that for worker permit renewal, it si also another opportunity for those callous employers to charge those hapless workers “an adminsitrative charges” of say, S$50 to S$100 to help them to renew their work permit every 2 years.

    No malice intended to MOM.

  22. Daniel said

    ““Foreign workers are hardworking and willing to work long hours. By hiring them, coffee shops can open late, or even 24 hours, round the clock.”
    Lee Hsien Loong (Straits Times)”

    Guys, you see this clown always use the worse case. You see, this clown always use something that hardly relevant to the modern educated workforce. Is the use of these foreigners in coffeeshop justify everything about foreigner’s policy ?

    Have you not experience the great mass of foreigner in MNC and in professional job too ? To those people who attend the clown’s talk, do you really care about foreigner’s working in coffeeshop or do you really concern the real issue of foreigner replacing you in your professional career not because of they have talent but because they are cheap labour ?

    Tell me what is the probability of professional working in coffeeshop ?

    Please Clown Prince, do not insult the intelligence of Singapore by using a worse case to strenghten your policy as your party always done. Use your example that target your specific audience. Is your audience all old aunt or uncle preparing to work in coffeeshop ?

    Don’t use your pathetic example to sidestep the real issue of foreigner taking the job of more professional job role that contribute to the economy.

    ““Foreign workers are hardworking and willing to work long hours.”
    PM clown,
    If that’s the case, is there any plan to bring these foreign talent workers to replace minister’s and high post roles. They are cheap, smart and capable than million-dollars gahmen. Don’t tell others what to do if you yourself are not willing to do it for the same reason. Plainly disconnect on the ground and still able to sing song aloud.
    At least, have some dignity and respect for yourself if not for others when you make such a public speech.

  23. melcica said

    While we are on the topic of putting people first. I would like to know why there has been hardly any discussion concerning the deregulate the net thingy. I am a Singaporean and I believe the net is important to me and my kids as it is the last vestige of freedom we have, but all I can see is one greenish looking flag and very little else. To add on I have read some very disturbing things concerning this whole business, luckily it was passed to me by a work colleague, but I could have easily missed it, if you know what I mean. Thank you with sites like the online citizen, and the Singapore daily regularly servicing us with good reads, I just want to tell you all everyone in my floor really loves it.

  24. iEatCanibals said

    Hey, not necessary to use offensive name calling to make a point right?

  25. Pro-singapore said


    I totally agree with your logic. PM Lee and Swee Say have admitted (implied) by their speeaches that foreigners are far more capable than singaporeans.

    Going by their warpped logic, there is something really good about foreigners or something really bad about singaporeans. Honestly, if i were the PM, i would be ashamed to insult my own people before the entire world on May Day.

    Are not singaporeans people too? What is so special about foreigners that makes them capable to work long hours? Is the PM telling us and the whole world that singaporeans are lazy, incapable and unwilling to work long hours? Do we and the foreigners all have at least 99% similarity in our genes (not jeans)? no wonder the world looks down on singapore!

    People, it is a sad day for singapore when our government no longer believes that its own people are the best for singapore. Singaporeans are the best workers in Singapore simply because they are singaporeans. Foreigners, by definition, are always foreigners and will work towards foreign interests, no matter how we look at it.

    Have we forgotten the lessons of WWII? Of Kuwait in the gulf war? A country is strong when its own people are strong and its leaders BELIEVE that its people are strong and work in all ways to be strong. The leaders of our country have no right to value foreign talents while implying the laziness of the people of our country, which is obviously wrong. Singaporeans are the most hardworking people in the world!

    A country is strong when it can stand on its own two feet. This means that in any event that something causes every foreigner to shun this country we singaporeans call home, singapore’s economy nor workforce should not be affected. We singaporeans have no need to depend in anyway for nice pretty china barmaids nor top tier PhD holders. Singapore possesses enough pretty women and enough intelligent people to fill the gap. We even have sufficient retired folks to clean the floors and the toilets!

    Look. Even if singaporeans are the laziest people in the world, we must put all of them in the workforce. If our people are incapable to be number 1. in ______, so be it. A country is not being about number 1. A country is about living. We can live as happy as number 5 or even number 20. A country’s people must come first, because a country is defined by its people. Your family is defined by your members. Even if my entire family are all invalids, i cannot change a single one of them and i shall love them and esteem them higher than the prettiest, most intelligent, richest, funniest person in the whole wide world. Such is a family. And such is a country.

    We need a new government. And prime minister.

  26. Daniel said

    iEatCanibals ,
    don’t worry, offensive name is only reserve for real genuine clown that typical Singaporean is sick of listening and looking at.

    Do suggest a suitable name that reflect these horrible expensive clowns who continue to insult the intelligence of Singaporean.

  27. Andrew Lee said

    I think as much as I like to weigh the issues of us and them, foreigners and patriots etc. I would also like to ask of the editorial team of the online citizen, why they have they not ventilated some of the broader debate concerning the idea to deregulate the net?

    I came across this site which seems to be fleshing out the main points.


  28. Wind of Change. said

    All opposition/alternative parties should unite together to pull
    resources, supports and leadership qualities, even if there are
    certain things which you guys cannot agree on. Look at what DAP
    and PAS are doing. If they can cooperate for a common good, why
    can’t SDP, WP, SPA and RP, unless all of you are just for shows?

  29. truthful said

    PAPer has a point. All these rantings and hyperventilating on the internet has to stop. If Mr Leong and his companions at onlinecitizens and any opposition for that matter want to be taken seriously, they need data, data, data. Not just rely on the official data.

    for example, price increase. Rely on CASE? Statistics Department of Singapore?

    Besides a lot of nonsense being spilled, best to fight spurious data with solid data. That means, you need to assemble a team of people who can do this kind of things. With his expertise and contact, Mr Leong should have no problem at all.

  30. Expected Analysis said

    Blowin’ In The Wind
    (Bob Dylan)

    How many times must we follow policies
    Before we realized they’re wrong?
    Yes, ‘n’ how many deceptions must we endure
    Before we realized our follies?
    Yes, ‘n’ how many times must we remind ourselves
    Before we do something concrete?
    The answer, my friends, is blowin’ in the wind
    The answer is blowin’ in the wind

    How many times must we believe in their craps
    Before we refuse to accept?
    Yes, ‘n’ how many fools must be used and convinced
    Before those fools get up of their traps?
    Yes’ ‘n’ how many poors will they generate
    Before we turned around and snapped?
    The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind
    The answer is blowin’ in the wind

    How many years must we live with them
    Before we can change the tide and trend?
    Yes, ‘n’ how much more sacrifices we must make
    Before we can see and partake?
    Yes, ‘n’ how many times can a man turn his head
    Pretending he just doesn’t see?
    The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind
    The answer is blowin’ in the wind

  31. flatware set for 8 oneida

    Putting Singaporeans first

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