Perspectives of a Student

Posted: 20th March 2011 By Kenneth Jeyaretnam

As the nation gears up for the upcoming elections, many more Singaporeans will be voicing out on the critical issues of today. As a fellow Singaporean I would like to take this chance to contribute to this helpful dialogue and voice out my views as a undergraduate, on the critical issues that I think many other undergraduates also face.

Many of us will be stepping into the work force in a few years and I feel that we are most concerned about the conditions of the labour market now and in the immediate future. Many locals have rightly pointed out, competition in the labour market has been rising to unprecedented levels year after year. Another related issue is the wage depression caused indirectly by this increase in competition. Competition in and of itself is a good thing, after all competition is one reason why workers will strive to improve themselves, but the problem comes in when locals take a back seat compared to non-locals on a major scale. As a local undergrad this is extremely worrisome, and to make matters worse, the Government seems unrelenting in their pursuit of “importing” even more non-locals to flood the labour market.

Fortunately, all hope is not lost. Some people have actually proposed restrictions on who we allow in to our country thus slowing the massive inflow of non-locals, which at the same time corrects the issue of wage depression. Who are those courageous few who proposed this change when everyone of significance seemed to be of one mind? They are the men and women from the Reform Party. Personally I feel that they have managed to connect with potential job seekers like me and have proposed positive changes to one of the most pressing issues to job seekers in the whole country.

Even though this is not the only issue that RP proposed changes for, they have shown me, with just this single issue that RP focuses more on the well-being of the individual, and that gives me a certain amount of reassurance as it reminds us that students are not forgotten in the overall scheme of things. Isn’t that what governments exist for? To serve the people and carry out their collective will? To me RP has given me hope that one day we could go back to that mandate and that our voices are no longer ignored.

Some self-introduction is in order. I am a student in SIM currently pursing my Degree in Economics and finance. My decision to join RP was something I should have done long before, I have always told myself that I needed to contribute to my country but have always been passive about it. Finally, after being pushed by a friend I decided it is to time to take that step out. Why RP and not other parties? I am drawn by RP’s mandate of giving the power to decide where this nation should go back to the people. That we do not need a group of elites to make all the important decisions for us, that we want to take back the responsibility of making life changing decisions. After all you can decide for yourself how well that has done us by relinquishing that responsibility.

“A society that will trade a little liberty for a little order will lose both, and deserve neither.”

– Thomas Jefferson

Gay Ying Cong
Reform Party’s supporter

6 Responses to Perspectives of a Student

Brendon on

I shared your sentiments.
Singaporeans of all age groups have been affected because of PAP’s policy of foreign talent.

To share my story:

I am a Singaporean, in my 30s, have done my part for NS and reservist. However, I have not been able to secure a full time employment for three years, before and even after taking a specialist diploma under the SPURS programme. I trusted the Government, put my faith in them, changed my mindset and went for upgrading. But what is the end result? Unemployed. What an irony!
Interestingly, the government kept stressing that Singapore is reaching full employment.
I do not know what to say about the statistics.
Frankly, I have more or less given up hope on finding a full time employment.

Despite having a degree and a specialist diploma, I have applied for countless jobs and have gone for countless interviews.
Just to share:
I remember going for an interview for a phone banking officer in a local bank which requires one to perform shifts.
It is pretty structured with firstly, written test, secondly, face to face interview and lastly, role play.
What is surprising is that many Filippinos were competing with me for the job. What is worst is that I was interviewed by a Filippino.
It is obvious. I did not get the job.

So what is wrong? My asking pay is only $2500. I am also willing to accept a lower pay as long as they give me the chance. However, i am not.

Thus, the following points i would like to point out are:

Singaporeans have a hard time competing with foreign talents (foreigners, expatriatries) and PRs.
Many bosses will prefer to hire them rather than us Singaporeans because they felt that foreign talents and PRs have better attitude and demand lesser compared to Singaporeans.
So even if we change our mindset, lower our expectations, the end result is still the same.

Regardless whether the SPURs or the new STEP, it is useless and is not going to help jobless Singaporeans in any way unless the CETs are willing to step in to help link these unemployed persons with the industry. Unfortunately many of these CETs seems to be more concerned in making profits than helping unemployed persons.

Frankly, our government seems to give me the impression that they are paying lip service and are not genuine in helping unemployed people like us. They will always use statistics to argue their way through.
However, anyone who have a bit of knowledge of statistics, should know that data can be manipulated for their own benefit, especially when there is no transparency. Nobody knows what goes into the data and how it is calculated.

If the ruling party is genuine in helping, they should listen to people on the ground and not brush them aside and insist they are right because the statistics said so!!!

I hope Singaporean stand up for your right. The government is really not listening to our appeal for help anymore. They treated Singaporeans’ feedback as complaints, ignored our appeal for help and talked down to Singaporeans in a very cold and insensitive manner.

Daily SG: 21 Mar 2011 « The Singapore Daily on

[…] the Rice Bowl: The Real Reasons Why Wages are Failing to Keep Up with Inflation – The Reform Party: Perspectives of a Student – Yaw Shin Leong: Conversations With Ex-Unionists – SDP: Stop the PAP before it’s too late – […]

Ee on

I sincerely hope that RP will contest in Bukit Panjang in the next GE because I would be 21 by then and I would definitely vote for this promising party. I identify deeply with your election manifesto and it’s really touching to know that there’s a party out there who really cares for Singapore. Not that PAP doesn’t but there is plenty of room for improvement and I believe that RP is the best candidate to carry out those improvements.

Keep up the good work! I hope to see some of your candidates in parliament!

Kenneth Jeyaretnam on

Thank You Ee. The work for next GE starts the day this GE finishes.

Koh Kee Sen Matthew on

I am a 43 yr old male Singaporean and member of the Reform Party. I possess a Diploma in Materials Management from SIPMM and a Diploma in Business Studies from LCCI. I could have gone further in my studies, but I saw that a degree would not guarantee me of a job at the time of completing my Diplomas in 1998 (Asian Financial Crisis). Before completing my Diplomas, I was only holding a JC2 qualification and managed to be an Asst Logistics Officer in an MNC. Many people during that period were going for further studies to upgrade, much like afew years back during the Collapse of the Lehman Brothers and world economic crisis; history repeats itself.

PAP’s policy of meritocrisy and persuasion of people to further their studies is really an illusion and not a reality of the true situation; especially reflecting the job market. We have alot of local graduates but sadly, alot of the jobs goes to the Foreign talents. A degree will open many doors of opportunity only if there are enough jobs to match the demand.

Has PAP mismanaged the Foreign Talent policy? I guess the results speak for itself. Today, I am a Security Officer and a qualified Security Supervisor with a WSQ in Supervise Security Officer. This industry is also filled with lots of Malaysian Work Permit holders who depress the wages of the Industry and spoil the market by secretly working continuous 12 hour shifts; one shift after another without going home. This allows the agencies to capitalise on not needing to pay proper overtime to these foreign workers and also depriving another local Singaporean of a job. The locals are often burdened with “Holding the fort” until these “24 hr” foreigners report for work, often late with the blessing of these countless “rogue” agencies. I like to see PAP candidate for Hougang, Mr Desmond Choo from USE, Union of Security Employees address this situation; an industry which is very badly managed and monitored by SIRD (Security Industry Regulatory Department). The Security Industry is perhaps a good place for Old and retired Singaporeans to work till they die (as encouraged by PAP). So, SIRD should step up efforts to clean-up and punish “rogue” Security agencies.

The PAP has mismanaged and performed badly in many areas; monitoring the Foreign talent/ workers, HDB prices, Public Transport prices and service standards etc. If the electorate do not voice out at this coming General Elections 2011, then it will just signal to the PAP that all is well and the matter will just become worse.

Buay Song on

Hi All,
I have seen MNC getting a FT in as the GM/Director/Head of the company.
The first thing FT does is to sack the Singaporean manager, retrench the guy who may be just 40+ years old with a family to support.
Next the FT will import all his unemployed kakis from overseas and create jobs for them.
I am not against the company having a FT for the top job since it is a MNC, but why import more FTs to take over jobs like accountants, brand managers, marketing managers, sales managers, HR managers!
Surely our local universities could churn out the best locals for these jobs, but NO, PAP, FT policy is flawed as they don’t control the inflow of FT managerial jobs and lots of managerial jobs taken over by FTs.
Worst thing is PAP refuse to accept this flaw and still say FTs are good for us, they create jobs. What rubbish.
Now is the time for change. Vote Wisely! Vote Reform Party!

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