In yet another sign that the PAP camp is following the SDP’s lead, the National Trade Unions Congress (NTUC) is now calling for a “Singaporeans First” employment strategy. This follows presidential candidate Dr Tony Tan’s call for a Singaporeans First policy in the allocation of university places.
NTUC official and PAP MP for Nee Soon GRC, Mr Patrick Tay (pictured), suggested that employers in Singapore show that they have done everything they can to hire locals first before being allowed to recuit foreigners.
This is the most blatant attempt yet by the PAP to co-opt SDP’s ideas. The Singapore Democrats have been calling for such a policy to give priority to Singaporeans when it comes to jobs.
Mr Tay explained that his idea of a Singaporeans First strategy:
essentially requires or mandates companies or employers who want to recruit foreign workers into their pool, including PMEs (professionals, executives and managers), to show that they have exhausted all local sources, be it through advertising, through employment agencies to outreach to the resident population, before they are given permission or given the green light to employ foreign PMEs…Countries like UK, Australia and New Zealand have already embarked on it
Now compare this to what the SDP said in our manifesto in the GE in May 2011:
Such a policy will require businesses to demonstrate that the kind of skill that their company requires is not available among Singaporeans before they are allowed to hire a foreign worker. This is the practice in many other countries where governments protect the interests of their people first.
But news reports by the mainstream media refuse to acknowledge that such a policy was first put forward by the SDP. This is important because the PAP has always accused the Singapore Democrats of being a “destructive force”. If the SDP is so destructive, how is it that we are able to come up with policies that even the PAP is now following?
This is the tactic that the Government-controlled mass media continue to adopt: They refuse to tell Singaporeans that the SDP actively provides solutions and alternative ideas to help the country and our economy.
Even without getting into Parliament, our ideas and proposals are already being co-opted.
PAP MP, Mr Hri Kumar, is also aping the SDP by conducting townhall meetings. We had told voters that SDP MPs would conduct such meetings with residents if elected. Now we find the PAP copying this idea. Like they say, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
The Singapore Democrats will continue to be a constructive opposition party suggesting workable alternatives for our nation. What’s interesting is that the PAP will continue to be a ruling party that repeatedly adopts our ideas.