How has Singapore and Singaporean benefited from CECA?

In April 2017, India’s Information technology (IT) body Nasscom reported that there was a clampdown on Employment Pass (EP) applications by the Singapore Government and that the base of Indian techies in Singapore has shrunk. This it claimed was unfair under the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA). Nasscom cautioned that this move by Singapore could hurt the ability of Indian businesses to chase future deals.

Indian companies are finding it increasingly difficult to maintain their level of manpower, “let alone raise” the numbers, complained Nasscom. Nasscom President said future contracts of Indian businesses will definitely be hit, and that some companies have started scaling down.

In March 2018, Lim Swee Say, who was the Manpower Minister then, revealed that a total of 500 firms have been placed on the Fair Consideration Framework (FCF) watchlist since 2016, for unfairly favouring foreigners in their hiring. While reporting this in Parliament, Lim also announced the widening of the Fair-hiring policy.

Lim said that his Ministry will expand the requirement to advertise jobs on the national Jobs Bank before EP (employment pass) applications are sanctioned, will be made mandatory for more employers. EPs are meant for foreign professionals, managers and executives (PMETs), and requires applicants to earn at least $3,600 a month and hold acceptable academic qualifications. The S-pass is another route available for mid-level skilled staff, and the salary threshold here is $2,300.

In June 2018, the PAP Government concluded the second review of CECA. An Indian official speaking after the conclusion of CECA said the PAP Government has taken Indian IT companies out of the fair consideration framework watchlist.

The majority of Indian companies that were in the fair consideration framework watchlist have now been taken off, said a senior director at Nasscom. “After having done the CECA, we should not be talking about these problems at all as it is, prima facie, against the spirit of CECA. The agreement clearly mandates that both sides will facilitate intra-corporate transfers and not put any restrictive measures,” the director added.

A qualifier on the Manpower Ministry website suggests that intracompany transfers under trade treaties such as CECA, would be exempt from mandatory advertising.

In March 2019, the current Manpower Minister, Josephine Teo, revealed that 610 companies were on the FCF watchlist for unfairly hiring foreigners over Singaporeans, 260 have been taken off but 350 are still on it. She assured that the EP applications of these companies on the watchlist will be intensely scrutinised before approval is given. She added that since 2016, 2,300 EP applications have been either rejected or withheld by her ministry, or withdrawn by the companies.

When questioned in Parliament why the number of companies on the FCF watchlist has not expanded or shrunk even after the widening of the Fair-hiring policy, Teo said that her Ministry acts when they are told of companies that have practices that are suspected to be discriminatory.

This is rather ridiculous! Which employee would want to rat on his employer when his rice-bowl is at stake? And the whistleblowing mechanism in Singapore is so weak!

When announcing the expansion of the Fair-hiring policy in 2018, Lim cited the example of a tech company with over 1,000 employees which was placed on the FCF watchlist, but was eventually removed after they hired 200 more Singaporeans.

Does this mean that only 20% of the employees of this company which was placed on the FCF watchlist are Singaporeans? If so, is this not too low a benchmark to be taken off the FCF watchlist? How is this fair to the Singaporean PMETs?

What do you think? Is the Government doing it right? Are there any areas they can do better? Here’s where the opposition voice matters.

We need to ensure job priority for Singaporeans. We need to call for a review of CECA.

Dr Tan Cheng Bock pointed out at the launch of Progress Singapore Party (PSP), that CECA was “negotiated by our current deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat.” He added that CECA “has brought a lot of unhappiness with Singaporean PMETs who feel vulnerable in their jobs and are anxious for their future.”

Dr Tan’s call for the Government of Singapore to publish a balance sheet for CECA to “show how Singapore and Singaporeans have benefited from this agreement – how many local jobs have gone to Indian professionals, and how many Singaporeans have gone to India?” is a sensible one.

WE NEED ACCOUNTABILITY!

 

Ravi Philemon

 

 

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35 Responses to “How has Singapore and Singaporean benefited from CECA?”

  • Money Before Lives:

    Anything cheap is always beneficial to the greedy.

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  • WatsGoinOnHere?:

    Yesterday news..hsk announced more co op btwn india n sg in more areas ..
    8000 india companies are already here!
    What are SGs getting out of this…
    Or is this another vote buying strategy by offering prs and citizenship easily.
    I dont trust our sgov anymore! *&^%$#@
    If sg is a 1st world place then why arent we paying more for 1st world talents to add value to our country?

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  • Karchua:

    How many Singaporeans working in INDIA because of CECA?
    HOw many families of India IT people migrated to sg including their grandmothers?

    There is no transparency.
    Singaporeans condone this.

    How stupid can they be?

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  • Karchua:

    The influx is so bad that many minions and ostriches think that Chinese are not good at IT.

    This fallacy is debunked by China’s 5G software superiority and success of alibaba, ten cents, wechat, taobao, AI.

    So singaporeans are easily fooled. Proven.

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  • Left to australia:

    In vetnam the employer have to advertise one whole year before they can hire a foreigner.

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  • we need accountability?:

    that is the same as expecting the pig to climb tree.

    it ain’t going to happen.

    because when things go wrong, pap either ignores denies or throws 70% sheep CPF money into the fray.

    pap is bunch of self serving money faced pigs who don’t account for anything since they are guaranteed their self serving ways by the stupipity of 70% sheep.

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  • Sinkie:

    The India-Singapore CECA is a stab in the backs of ordinary Sinkies . . .

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  • SG First? Really?:

    Who knows if some of the “200 Singaporeans” are not also new citizens from that country? Even that, 20% is ridiculously low! It should be the opposite – 20% foreigners and 80% SGs. “SG First” means only when there are no SGs qualified to fill the position, then will it be opened to foreigners. Why give away tech jobs to foreigners when it is in high demand and SGs can be trained to do the work? Are our universities not good enough to produce iT graduates for these jobs. CECA has put SGs in a disadvantageous position. Is it in GIC/Temasek’s interest or SGs’ interest?

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  • conu eat shit:

    The apple does not fall far from the tree.All PAP leaders lie and have lack intergrity.

    LEE KAYU(OLD FART)worked for the Japanese the enemy during the second World War.That makes him a traitoR.When he was PM he said that TOMBASCIK was not using our CPF money.The prices of houses will keep going up.There is no free lunch,yet he in his later years was being paid a MP allowance for sleeping in bed or sitting in a wheel chair and not attending parliament.He was paid an MP allowance till the day he died.He did not even keep his promise about getting up from the grave when Singapore is in DEEP SHIT.

    GOH cock tong promised a Swiss standard of living and Singapore entering world cup football by 2010.He also said that HDB was an asset,only now Singaporeans realise that it is the biggest liability and will be worthless when it reaches 99 years old.

    PM LEE like his father has sold Singapore and Singaporeans over to FT for his our political gains.He is so afraid to sue his brother and sister and only sue commoners.He is so afraid to reveal his wife’s pay.He let foreigners steal our lunch while he earns millions.

    What a line of GREAT LEADERS

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  • Victor:

    Article misses a big point.

    Why pick IT where Indians outnumber most locals. India encouraged IT training in a big way so they produced many IT engineers.

    There are too few Singaporeans grads in IT and even fewer in siftware programming. IT industry is not a fair consideration. Even US has a disproportionate number of Indian IT professionals but not because they have displaced locals.

    Compare areas like medical services, construction, professional services to see what and where the problem is.

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  • opposition dude:

    All measures announced by PAP to tighten the inflow of non Singaporeans are just pure bullshit. If they were really doing it the number of aliens on the island would at least remain the same year on year instead of increasing by the thousands.

    And this nonsense about companies being on the watchlist is just too funny. PAP is the one allowing these aliens in to look for work and suddenly point the finger at companies, it’s just too funny.

    Whatever PAP has done to CECA it has certainly made India very happy since we have not heard them make anymore noise after that report. If PAP isn’t forced into a coalition government at least we can all look forward to even more Indian nationals being let in. They are everywhere be it MNCs or SMEs. You can tell that the immigration policy has gone too far already.

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  • SG can be much better:

    Singaporeans proved they are not wise.

    Every FTA since independence they do the same three things : see no evil, hear jo evil, speak no evil.

    Ostriches too .
    Without transparency , it is like letting the garment drive our bus with their eyes closed.

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  • PSP:

    Mr Ravi, are you joining PSP, Dr Tan CB, in this coming GE?

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  • never voted pap:

    Anyone with a brain knows ceca is wrong.

    pap went ahead. Spore is what it is today due to the ceca error.

    Where is george yeo who inked the stupid ceca deal? Is he taking any responsibility? And where got responsibility to begin with?

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  • Harder Truths:

    How have citizens benefited?

    This is just not about CECA but the policy of anyone who decides to work in $G will be able to walk all over the local-born.

    The local-born will say ‘ Thank You Sir’ and continue to vote pappies. Always the excuse is we do not have good opposition.

    Chong-Aruldoss worked for 10 years trying to win the trust of locals.
    There have been others just as good. Why cannot they lead?

    Must the opposition always boast of ex-PAP in-charge to save them or else there is no hope? Why this discrimination against people who have come up on their own merit? \

    A lot is being said about meritocracy but the opposition does not seem to value it any more than the pappies.

    There are less and less ordinary people willing to go into politics because they know they will have to stand behind ex-PAP no matter what they do.

    This is why there will be no salvation for the masses. People are too dumb with PAP-ism to allow anyone else to make a difference.

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  • TruBlu:

    ALOT! More INDIAN FAKE TALENTS here???

    Lee Ah Long is the most stooooooopid idiot.

    No need to say more.

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  • NotMyProblem:

    Do we call this selling out Singapore?

    Singaporeans, especially the 70%, any answer?

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  • patriot of TUMASIK:

    How many IT companies from Singapore has taken advantage of the Bangalore IT park and make good with their supposedly cheap labour and IT well tunes Indian STAFF in CECA???

    Most IT companies in Singapore had close shop like Compac & IPC and Creative hanging on for dear life…and India capitalise on CECA to sent their workers here who will earn more than double what they get in Bangalore or MORE at the expense of Singapore workers…

    They are the Brains and we are The FOOLs!!!

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  • PAP.GUARANTEE.WIN.GE2019/20:

    Ravi Philemon:
    He added that CECA “has brought a lot of unhappiness with Singaporean PMETs who feel vulnerable in their jobs and are anxious for their future.”

    Dear Ravi,
    1. Singaporeans who are lazy and unmotivated in their job should not blame anyone for their joblessness or for being first to lay off.

    2. Singaporeans who are are lazy and unmotivated to network with others should not blame anyone for their joblessness or for being first to lay off.

    3. Singaporeans who are are lazy and unmotivated to greet their bossSir, Good morning Sir” or “Sir, Good afternoon Sir” or “Sir, no problem Sir” or “Sir, I can do it immediately for you SIR”

    Vote PAP. Vote for more FT and 9% GST to give politicans increment.

    PAP.GUARANTEE.WIN.GE2019/20

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  • BooLee Diamdiam Sue:

    I read somewhere that there’re 8,000 Indian companies in sg. 8,000? Seriously? How many singaporeans did these firms employ? If they don’t give enough jobs to singaporeans, why allow them to set up their companies here for? If whatever benefits our G gets from those companies are not being shared with citizens, why should we continue to vote for the same G? VTO if singaporeans are not benefiting.

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  • Huang Ba Dan:

    Honestly, is India expecting Spore to create jobs for each and everyone of their citizens?

    Then again, the govt always take people for fools.

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  • low-grade brain:

    Who was that low-grade thoughtless brain that made the decision on CECA?

    And reward himself millions for making that poor judgment?

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  • Realistically:

    What’s new in the article & comment? The usual cursing and swearing of the whites and the supposed daftness of the so-called 70%/69.9%.

    If CECA is such a big issue (& an bread & butter one at that), then why is the wayang party MPs not raising AND DEBATING this CECA issue?

    What Tan Cheng Bock said, as quoted by Ravi, is a no-brainer……as it is just logical – I’m not taking credit from TCB, but to point out about the farce of the wayang party MP for failing dismally to discharge their duties & responsibilities as supposed opposition

    Anyway, as I see it, CECA is NOT about reciprocity in terms of employment lah………so dun be fooled. But, as usual, I’m not going to enlighten those wanna-be MPs and of course the wayang party.

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  • CECA Heng the Taxman:

    Reasoning with a drunkard is like
    Going under water with a torch to seek for a drowning man…
    Great wealth, like a crowd at a concert,
    Gathers and dissipates.

    - Thiruvalluvar the Sage

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  • TruBlu:

    Is CECA a BI-lateral or UNI-lateral AGREEMENT?

    CLOWN PRINCE is really daft.
    Does India warmyLEE welcome sg-FTs?

    Wtf is our $cholars doing?

    Farking us up is their KEY PERFORMANCE?!

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  • PAP CLOSE DOWN:

    They can choose NOT to debate about CECA.

    Realistically:
    What’s new in the article & comment? The usual cursing and swearing of the whites and the supposed daftness of the so-called 70%/69.9%.

    If CECA is such a big issue (& an bread & butter one at that), then why is the wayang party MPs not raising AND DEBATING this CECA issue?

    What Tan Cheng Bock said, as quoted by Ravi, is a no-brainer……as it is just logical – I’m not taking credit from TCB, but to point out about the farce of the wayang party MP for failing dismally to discharge their duties & responsibilities as supposed opposition

    Anyway, as I see it, CECA is NOT about reciprocity in terms of employment lah………so dun be fooled. But, as usual, I’m not going to enlighten those wanna-be MPs and of course the wayang party.

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  • Rabble-rouser:

    CECA was a “deal” between S’pore & India govts which I believe were structured something like this:

    1. India Investments into S’pore with “unrestricted” movement of Indian techies into S’pore – that also translated to GLCs & Big companies being able to tap upon the same resources for their benefit & profitability; &
    2. S’pore SWFs & GLCs being able to access India for Investments circumventing their traditionally anti-Investment laws, rules & regulations.

    If one is smart enough to “sense” the true nature of CECA, it only benefits the S’pore govt, their SWFs & GLCs but reduces job creation for S’poreans & totally useless for the masses.

    And CECA had proven to be a “failure”. No way can S’pore absorb India’s hordes of unemployed & underemployed people into S’pore without tilting the political equation. The Mainland Chinese had already begun their exodus away from S’pore as witnessed by the hollowing out of their popular haunt, Geylang!

    S’pore’s SWFs & GLCs themselves have not had the great investment results after ploughing enormous sums of monies into the Indian landscape. Most of their Investments have either gone south or stuck in developmental quagmire like the recent Amaravati City. Also, the Indian Rupee had depreciated badly.
    https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.scmp.com/news/asia/south-asia/article/2148448/amaravati-new-indian-city-modelled-singapore-far-it

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  • Realistically:

    @ TruBlu:
    September 9, 2019 at 1:28 am (Quote)

    “Farking us up is their KEY PERFORMANCE?!”

    Like how? Give examples leh.

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  • @therealtruth:

    we can talk until the cows come home, and then go out again. fair or not, benefit or not, cpf or not, koot tau or not. my family and i know long time ago what we HAVE to do when we step into the voting booth. do you?

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  • PAP CLOSE DOWN:

    What kind of twisted logic is that? CECA set up by PAP and then you expect them to debate it in Parliament? Get out of here!

    Realistically:

    If CECA is such a big issue (& an bread & butter one at that), then why is the wayang party MPs not raising AND DEBATING this CECA issue?

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  • PAP CLOSE DOWN:

    You’re stupid.

    PAP.GUARANTEE.WIN.GE2019/20: Dear Ravi,
    Vote PAP. Vote for more FT and 9% GST to give politicans increment.

    PAP.GUARANTEE.WIN.GE2019/20

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  • Homeless Cat:

    PAP CLOSE DOWN:
    You’re stupid.

    Calling him stupid is higher praise than he deserves. The brain-washed deserve nothing but failure, despair and eventual extinction.

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  • PAP CLOSE DOWN:

    Agrre. Tons of retributution. And the deepest pit in hell. But Satan may feel threatened by him.

    Homeless Cat: Calling him stupid is higher praise than he deserves. The brain-washed deserve nothing but failure, despair and eventual extinction.

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  • Rabble-rouser:

    @ PAP CLOSE DOWN, Homeless Cat:
    The Guy is a Durian Picker from M’sia who had his Noggin hit by a falling Mao Shan Wang! Not brain-washed but brain-damaged!

    Now he’s trying to earn his 50 cents per post income as a PAP IB in addition to moonlighting as a Food Delivery guy using his M’sian registered motorbike & using someone else’s food deliverer’s identity.
    His constant use of “lazy & unmotivated” tag on S’poreans proves that he is not local. No local would slap faeces over his own cheek.

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  • CECA is poisonous:

    CECA = low productivity & quality.

    India is now using SG huge investments in India to blackmail sg for better CECA deals every 5 years during the review.

    Good luck to sg. Sg will only wake up and challenge India to stop the CECA when the damage to economy is unbearable.

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