Photo of Lim Swee Say from Jason Quah Today

Manpower Minister Lim Swee Say yesterday (Mar 5) openly supported the influx of foreigners in Singapore and said that it is “better” to have one-third of the population being foreigners. Speaking in incoherent singlish:

“The move is part of measures to make the country’s one-third foreign better. Locals currently make up two-thirds of Singapore’s workforce at 2.3 million, while foreigners form one-third or 1.1 million.”

The Manpower Minister raised the Minimum Wage of foreigners on S-Pass to S$2,400 by 2020, and also extended the maximum period of employment for work permit holders. Minister Lim Swee Say said he wants to protect foreigners’ jobs and raise their salaries:

“This is to help employers to retain their experienced foreign workers and upgrade their workers’ skills to enjoy lower levies, additional pathways will also be rolled out for them. Changes to S Pass minimum qualifying salary will take place in two stages: From January next year, it will go up from S$2,200 to S$2,300. The second increase to S$2,400 will take place from January 2020…We believe this will be helpful to companies that want to hire and retain their better work permit holders.”

Unskilled foreign workers, typically from China, India and Bangladesh, can now work up to 14 years, extended from the previous 10 year limit. Unknowingly disrespecting the one-China policy, the Singapore government said that workers from Malaysia, Hong Kong, Macau, South Korea and Taiwan will be allowed to work until 60 years old.

Speaking in broken English, Minister Lim Swee Say then slammed Singaporeans who criticised the country’s immigration policies:

“Locals said that there are still “too many foreigners” and “too much competition here for jobs. They feel our foreign manpower policy is too loose. To them, MOM is not pro-worker enough…Two-thirds plus one-third should not just equal to one, but more than one.”