This video, recorded by activist Mr Gilbert Goh in 2014, shows a 70-year-old lady in a back alley pushing a cart and getting ready to do her rounds of collecting cardboard boxes to sell.$CUT$
She tells the videographers that she has to compete with other nationals to collect the cardboard. She says that some of these foreigners have even staked out their own turf.
At one point, the elderly lady says that the Government does not support her: “I have to take care of myself.”
She collects the boxes from morning to the late afternoon and sells them at $1 per 1 kg. She recalled an occasion when another lady fell and broke her arm when she rushed to pick up the cardboard.
“It’s shameful being a Singaporean!” she said at one point.
This situation is so wrong on so many levels:
One, why are the elderly in Singapore toiling under such abysmal conditions for survival? Not only are they at the mercy of the weather, they also run the risk of getting knocked down by passing traffic.
One recently died after she was pinned under a bus while collecting cardboard. (See here)
These elderly Singaporeans are left out in the cold while our ministers pay themselves handsome pensions for life. Where is the justice?
Two, why do the poor have to compete with other nationals even at this level? Isn’t it bad enough that our able-bodied PMETs are subjected to unfair competition with foreign workers?
Three, why are foreigners allowed into Singapore to collect cardboard boxes? Is there no proper criteria of what constitutes foreign talent?
The PAP sets a very low bar in its screening process when it comes to foreign nationals working here, it seems to allow in all and sundry to “work” here.
The SDP has a plan to remedy the PAP’s failure. Under our population policy, Building A Nation, we propose the Talent Track scheme where foreign nationals wanting to work in Singapore are ranked on a points-system based on age, competencies, qualifications, etc.
Only those meeting a cut-off will be eligible for employment in Singapore. Such a measure will rectify the overly lax immigration policy that we currently have.
Employers will then be able to hire these foreigners but only if they have demonstrated that they cannot find locals to fill the positions.