[Appeared on Todayonline]

Mr Christopher Quek, a venture capitalist who invests in Singapore-based technology start-ups, said that while there may be a need to raise the salary bar of EPs, the recent tightening exercises of work pass requirements in May and August do little to deal with the core of the issue — the mistrust between expats and Singaporeans.

He proposed that EP holders no longer be solely judged on their skills in their future, but also on their ability to contribute to Singaporeans and help them. Through this process of more interactions, EP holders will also feel more rooted and may one day become citizens and give back more, he said.
Mr Quek stressed that it is important to attract talents in the information and communications technology (ICT) field, as Singapore produced only about 48,500 graduates this year — not a sufficient stock of trained technical talents to embark on forefront technological developments.

“If we persist in excessive raising of costs to hire these foreign talents, ICT companies will look to basing their tech innovation operations elsewhere, and Singapore loses as a whole in terms of jobs and possible innovation,” he said.

He pointed out that Vietnam, for example, is becoming an ICT capital of tech talent for the US. Seventy per cent of Vietnam’s 97 million population are aged below 35 and it has a much larger graduate talent pool than Singapore.

Read more at https://www.todayonline.com/big-read/big-read-facing-job-uncertainty-and-online-vitriol-expats-spore-share-their-worries-and

Image by: Illustration: Anam Musta’ein/TODAY