Manpower Minister Tan Chuan-Jin claimed that foreign PMEs earn higher incomes because they are more employable than Singaporean PMEs.
Member of Parliament Patrick Tay had asked in parliament yesterday, “what is the breakdown for Singaporeans and permanent residents and foreigners who are professionals, managers and executives (PMEs) in Singapore’.
Mr Tan provided a table and showed that the gross monthly income of resident PMEs than Singaporean PMEs.
In other words, foreign PMEs earn higher incomes than Singaporean PMEs.
Mr Tan also said that foreign PMEs earn higher incomes because “Permanent Residents typically have to display good employability before they are granted residency”.
According to Wikipedia, “employability” refers to a person’s capability for gaining and maintaining employment.
However, Mr Tan’s logic was quickly called out and criticised by Singaporeans.
In the first place, what do incomes have to do with whether someone gets residency or not?
Moreover, look at the way Mr Tan purposefully phrased his answer. He claimed that PRs need to have higher incomes to be able to become a citizen. However, this does not explain why other foreigners who are not PRs are have no intention to become a Singaporean also have higher incomes.
Moreover, by Mr Tan’s logic, does it mean that Singaporeans should have their citizenships revoked since their incomes are lower?
Also, does this mean that once PRs become Singaporeans, their incomes would become lower? What logic is there to Mr Tan’s claims?
Netizens who commented on Channel NewsAsia’s Facebook page lambasted Mr Tan.
“The reason… Sounds unconvincing,” one commenter said.
Another asked, “Why should PRs earn higher pay than Singaporeans? Look like employers and government agencies still prefer to hire foreigners rather than locals.”
Another said, “That’s pretty unfavourable for citizens in Singapore.
“Now, you understand why its the citizens in Singapore that migrate to find better jobs and salary.”
But another commenter pointed out Mr Tan’s flaw in logic.
“Shouldn’t salaries be based on qualifications and experience instead on whether one is local or PR?”
Another pointed how Mr Tan was asked specifically about the breakdown for “Singaporeans and permanent residents and foreigners” but he only gave the breakdown for “resident” PMEs and Singaporean PMEs.
This led the commenter to say, “then it’s even more important not to lump citizens, PRs and foreigners together when presenting statistics”.
It is clear that if foreigners were to be a category by itself, foreign PMEs would earn even higher incomes than “resident” PMEs and Singaporean PMEs.
Indeed, this is what a Singaporean observed.
“I personally experience and observe that those on Employment Passes earn relatively more than PR and needless to say, obviously more than Singaporeans as well,” the commenter said.
“This has to stop.”
Other Singaporeans asked if Mr Tan was referring to Yang Ying who had cheated an old Singaporean lady of millions of dollars and who was known to have a fake degree but was still granted a PR.
“Frankly, we need to thank Tan Chuan-Jin for revealing this open secret that many Singaporeans have suspected i.e. foreigners are earning more than locals (please, locals exclude PRs)”, one commented said angrily.
“So, try guessing why property prices and COEs have skyrocketed so much in recent years that they are beyond reach of many Singaporeans?”
“The government’s biased policies have led to all these unhappiness,” one person said.
“It feels like we are betrayed by our own government.”
Indeed, the reason why foreign PMEs earn more than Singaporean PMEs is obvious, yet Mr Tan still tried to pull wool over the eyes of Singaporeans’ eyes.
Why Mr Tan is so brazen in doing so either mean that the government is in denial of the situation or the government do not care much about Singaporeans to tell them what the real situation is.
As someone asked, “Do you still think Singaporeans are dafts?”