Will employment pass requirements be tightened or made more flexible?

Mr Saktiandi Supaat, a People’s Action Party Member of Parliament asked for eligibility criteria for employment pass (EP) holders be tightened in Parliament yesterday.

He said:

“We cannot continue to have the inflow of foreign specialists in perpetuity without regard for the well-being of our Singapore core.”

In response, Mr Zaqy Mohamad, Minister of State for Manpower and National Development said that strong stance against favouring foreigners for employment has not gone unnoticed and noted locals continue to hold the majority of jobs that companies could hire EP holders to undertake.

He said, “But the ministry will study Mr Saktiandi’s suggestion on expanding on the scheme to see how else local workers can benefit”. Whatever that doublespeak means.

The Minister of State also warned that the Global Competitiveness Ranking released by the World Economic Forum in October, a global index that ranked Singapore as the world’s most competitive economy also highlighted the difficulties bosses face when trying to hire foreign labour where we ranked 93 out of 141 economies on the ease of employing staff from overseas without clarifying whether the report refers to employment pass or work permit holders for labour-intensive companies such as those in the manufacturing and service sectors.

This is disingenuous as it almost seems as if Singapore is one of the most difficult places for foreign talent PMET’s to find jobs in when all of us know that this is simply untrue.

Instead, note the report about the easing of our foreign labour stance for service, manufacturing firms again appearing to conflate employment pass holders and work permit holders without clarifying which type of foreign talent the easing would apply to:

“The Economic Development Board and Enterprise Singapore said in July this year that it will allow for more flexible requirements for foreign professionals looking to apply for an employment pass (EP) to work in technology companies here in a move to grow the sector.”

While appearing defiant about how apparently difficult it is for foreigners to get jobs here, they suggest Singapore must consider easing of our foreign labour stance.

So which is it, tighten or easing?; “cannot continue to have the inflow of foreign specialists in perpetuity” or easing of our foreign labour stance?

They cannot be allowed to sing both songs or talk from both sides of their mouths.

Why ask vaguely for eligibility criteria for employment pass (EP) holders be tightened and then get an even more vague and unsatisfactory reply as to studying how to EXPAND on the employment pass scheme?

The $1.5 million dollar question to ask that was not asked is this: if the country’s strong stance against favouring foreigners for employment has not gone unnoticed, why has the CECA agreement not been tabled for debate and repudiation in Parliament?

This is the People’s agenda and the will of the people on the foreigner issue having been acknowledged in Parliament must be acceded to.


Khush Chopra




17 Responses to “Will employment pass requirements be tightened or made more flexible?”

  • Sinkie:

    Note that Zaqy said “locals continue to hold the majority of jobs that companies could hire.”

    His “locals” refer also to the 2.2 million foreign workers resident in Singapore, in addition to the 3.5 million citizens ??

    Nowadays, they always say Singapore’s population is 5.7 million.

    GD Star Rating
  • Change We Must:

    Mr Zaqy Mohamad,Clarify what type of job Singaporeans are holding.The best solution is to take you all out of MOM including the minister. All useless bumps. Your job is not to create employment for other countries, bear in mind!!

    GD Star Rating
  • Judicial Independence 19th:


    According to that report, Singapore is ranked #19 in judicial independence, with a score of only 5.6 out of 7. This is below Oman and close to Saudi Arabia. This report is read all over the world.

    Holy shit, the Sg gov and courts must take action against this world economic report else everybody will think that the score is true.

    Then, the sg gov has no more moral rights or any rights to sue individuals who doubt the judicial independence in Singapore.

    GD Star Rating
  • Freedom of the Press, 124th:

    Holy shit, how can anyone believe in Sg press news and reports? It is ranked 124th on this world report.

    Quite a shameful achievement. No wonder SPH is losing money.


    GD Star Rating
  • wayang kulit extraordinaire:

    These pseudopap groupies have gotten doublespeak down to an art form – profoundly decadent rhetoric. All those megabucks paid for such empty vessels making discordant noises in parliament.

    GD Star Rating
  • GST is only 9%, soon:

    unless GST is 15% or higher, large enough to cover the holes in gic temasick, zero chance for any tightening since it is one of THE sources of funds for clown to top up ownself gic and wife temasick.

    it is for certain there is no tightening possible at the moment since GST is not yet 15% or higher and there is no more slack in 70% sheep CPF for pap clown and wife to abuse any further.

    GD Star Rating
  • CECA Prohibits EP Tightening:

    At least to India nationals.

    India gov would not allow any room for discussion. Only way is revoke CECA at the expense of write off investments in india.

    My dear GCT, how?

    GD Star Rating
  • who believes them anymo?:

    PAP’s motto:
    if cant convince, confuse!

    GD Star Rating
  • business as usual:

    only when the recent incident caused so much backlash..thats why the ministars decide to come out to wayang wayang.
    after that business as usual.
    do we really believe they will tighten the said laws to benefit us sgs?
    then pigs oso can fly!

    GD Star Rating
  • HDB flats depreciate to ZERO:

    With REGIME CHANGE it will definitely be tightened to provide more jobs to Singaporeans and to stop “cheap” (no CPF) foreigner from depressing local wages.

    GD Star Rating
  • Asd:

    After election nobody will bother about you… it’s the before election that matters

    GD Star Rating
  • Asd:

    Elections coming muppets are alive and talking

    GD Star Rating
  • NotMyProblem:

    @Khush Chopra; “… talk from both sides of their mouths.”, do you mean the arsehole. That will not be talking, it should be farting!.

    Anyway you can expect a lot of that from the PAP’s ministers and MPs. The recent Parliament debate on AHTC proved that. From DPM, Ministers and PAP’s MPs.

    GD Star Rating
  • Bapak:

    I wonder how they’re going to “disqualify” TCB now. What they don’t know is they had “forced” him to form his own party. And that scared the shit out of them. If LHY joins him, they will have sleepless nights.

    The Clown will not sleep, thinking about how to fix them.

    After election nobody will bother about you… it’s the before election that matters

    GD Star Rating
  • opposition dude:

    Alamak there isn’t a need for PAP to wayang lah, the FACT that there are more than 150k S and E Passes respectively tells you all you need to know.

    This means that MORE THAN 300k jobs have gone to NON SINGAPOREANS. 300k hor, not 3k.

    It’s obvious that PAP wants to increase this number, that’s why there is the flexibility nonsense added in. Instead of flexibility why aren’t these employers hiring locals?

    GD Star Rating
  • Trade War Abating:

    No need tighten it . The trade war is ending.

    Influx will continue and productivity continue to be bad. Cheap labor model is SG. You all do not be mistaken , SG is not European standard.

    GD Star Rating
  • Pro sg:

    Don’t need to talk much. Let’s vote in new government. Best way to solve these problems is to totally abolish s-pass and EP. Implement total ban on hiring migrant workers for all managerial post.

    GD Star Rating

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