Few options for Singaporeans keen on working holidays

As a Singaporean undergraduate aspiring to go on a working holiday, I read with interest last Sunday's article ("More young Taiwanese opt for working holidays").

According to the Ministry of Manpower's website, working holiday visas are available to undergraduates and graduates of, among other countries, Australia and New Zealand. Applicants for these visas are subject to certain criteria stipulated by the ministry.

A check with the website of the corresponding ministry in Australia revealed that Singaporeans are not allowed to apply for working holiday visas there.

In fact, Singaporeans are not allowed to go on working holidays anywhere in the world except New Zealand - and even that is subject to it being a working exchange programme.

I have heard from foreign backpackers that working holidays not only help fund an enriching holiday, but also benefit cross-cultural exchange.

Therefore, I cannot comprehend why Singapore is not listed as a participating nation in other countries' working holiday programmes.

These programmes should be guided by the principle of reciprocity. I hope the ministry can state its stand on this issue.

Clement Lin Xunkang

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