When questioned why are more foreigners being more well-paid than locals, Trade Minister Chan Chun Sing blamed Singaporeans claiming they are lazy, unskilled and inexperienced.
The millionaire former army general said Singaporeans should work harder if they want to get higher-paying jobs:
“You need to work hard to upgrade skills to take over the higher-paying jobs as soon as possible. But do not exploit sentiments to create envy, anger and frustration towards that foreigner who is now taking the $10,000 job.”
Minister Chan Chun Sing also claimed that accepting foreign investments means having more foreigners:
“A Singaporean who is earning $5,000 today can only get the $7,000 job because he does not yet have the skills or experience for the $10,000 job. While the Singaporean may feel he is being unequally treated, not accepting the investment will mean both the $7,000 and $10,000 jobs disappearing. The Singaporean will have fewer opportunities to rise to a higher-paying job and, more importantly, his children will not be able to aspire to those jobs either.”
Minister Chan Chun Sing also made a baseless claim saying the senior management of early semiconductor companies in Singapore is now filled with Singaporeans since their arrival in the 1970s:
“The first three semiconductor companies in Singapore – National Semiconductor, Fairchild and Texas Instruments – created more than 7,000 jobs in the 1970s. But our people did not get the best-paying jobs immediately… because they lacked the skills or experience. But in time, many of the early engineers and technicians became senior executives in the sector, and mentored a new generation of Singaporeans. Today, the same situation is taking place in the info-communications technology (ICT) and software industries. So do we go out and attract these investments like Google, Grab and Facebook, not just for this generation but more importantly also for the next? I say we do, and land the investment first.”
A fact check revealed this is however untrue. None of the three semiconductors has ever been headed by Singaporean citizens even in over 45 years.