Of late, I am been reading more and more negative news about the Government's recent plans to reduce the foreign labor force in Singapore. We hear things like, "The most widespread margin squeeze in at least a decade is pushing some Singapore companies out of the city state as rising costs and slow growth sap profitability." and "A severe labor shortage is hobbling businesses in Singapore as the government tightens its immigration policies, while growth has been hard to come by as exports languish in a dull global economy." Furthermore we read this, "The head of a Singapore business association is among those moving their corporate headquarters elsewhere, in search of lower costs and a larger market." It can sound that we are indeed threading on dangerous grounds at the moment.
What more proof do we need that Singapore cannot do away with foreign labor? Mr Chan Chong Beng, head of the Association of Small and Medium Enterprises in Singapore and chairman of Goodrich Global, says this, "Businesses today face a very awkward situation," Chan said. "The worst is we can't find the workers."
The report also goes on to say, "Singapore, a major financial and trading centre known for its business-friendly policies, faces a tightening labor market as authorities curb the influx of foreign workers, spurred by public grumbling about overcrowding and soaring property prices."
We cannot stay on the sidelines and watch our nation fall. The longer we wait, the harder will be the fall. I can strongly say this. Companies will continue to relocate to places where they can find "greener" grass, and feel more comfortable. If a Company cannot remain profitable, it will definitely not wish to continue under any circumstances.
I hope that Singaporeans can understand this, that if they don't wish to take up some of the jobs in Singapore, then they should not discourage the Government from bringing in more foreign labor. Yes if Singaporeans are willing to take on those positions left vacant, so be it. If not there are really no other solutions left for us. If we dont do something now, many Companies will suffer, and in the end I am afraid, we will ALL suffer the repercussions.
- Ishwar Mahtani