Sunday, April 11, 2021

Commentary: An unpopular opinion but the truth is foreign workers help, not hurt Singaporean livelihoods

By DONOVAN CHOY

APRIL 09, 2021


A study by the Institute of Policy Studies found that 43.6 per cent of Singaporeans believe that immigration will “increase unemployment".

One of Singapore’s biggest open secrets is its slow-festering anti-foreigner sentiment among some of its citizens in the social media sphere, even though most people here are not opposed to immigration per se but to the unfettered inflow of foreigners. Protected by the anonymity of private Facebook groups, these rants oftentimes verge on plain ugly racism and xenophobia.

The reasons for opposing immigration in Singapore are varied, but the biggest grievance among locals lies in the proverbial “bread and butter” issues. This is affirmed by a just-released study by the Institute of Policy Studies, which finds that 43.6 per cent of Singaporeans believe that immigration will “increase unemployment".

The problem is that the evidence contradicts this popular belief.

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Commentary: Using the lessons of Covid-19 to tackle 4 types of inequality in Singapore

By IRENE Y H NG

APRIL 06, 2021


The writer discusses four types of inequalities in Singapore that have been spotlighted by the pandemic: Wage, digital, residency and gender.


Economists use letters to describe the shape of recovery from recessions, and the current recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic is given a new letter: K.

This depicts a shape where some industries and individuals ascend, but the rest decline. In the midst of wage cuts, job losses and business closings, stock market prices have been rising and the Big Techs have been thriving.

The K-shaped trend is said to reflect existing inequalities.

In this essay, I will discuss four types of inequality in Singapore that have been spotlighted by the pandemic: Wage, digital, residency and gender.

I would like to suggest going beyond a business-as-usual response to these areas of inequality, failing which we would be wasting the lessons learned from the pandemic and the inequalities that were already there will further divide our society.