Photo of Josephine Teo from TNP

Manpower Minister Josephine Teo refused to declare the employment update for Singapore citizens in parliament yesterday and insisted that foreigners with permanent residence are “locals”.

Censoring the citizen figures, Minister Josephine Teo said the knowledge will not serve Singaporeans’ interests”

“To help Singaporeans, we must make every effort to keep up these efforts, instead of focusing narrowly on displacing PRs and foreigners in our workforce. That is a zero-sum game which will cause companies to rethink locating their high-value activities in Singapore. The end result will not serve Singaporeans’ best interests.”

Ignoring Workers’ Party MP Pritam Singh’s request for Singaporean statistics, the PAP minister announced that three in four white-collar jobs are taken up by “locals”:

“About three in four white-collar jobs in growth sectors – such as healthcare, finance and insurance services, and information and communications – are filled by Singaporeans and permanent residents (PRs). The Government has helped Singaporeans secure good jobs through job creation, motivating workers to upgrade their skill sets, promoting fair hiring, and investing in education and training.”

Despite the claims about better employment opportunities for Singaporeans, the unemployment rate is now at the decade-high of 3.3%. This contrasts to the “local” unemployment rate of 3.2%, which include foreigners on PR.