Hard to prove discrimination

PHOTO: Hard to prove discrimination

While I am glad that the Government is tightening the rules for hiring foreigners, many questions remain unanswered ("Firms must show they tried to recruit Singaporeans first"; Tuesday).

Requiring companies to advertise in a government-run job bank may sound like a good idea, but how many Singaporeans will be aware of it? Already, many do not know about the existence of various government schemes.

Even if Singaporeans do apply for the advertised jobs, what is there to prevent hiring managers from discriminating against them?

Companies could easily argue that they had advertised their jobs for 14 days, but could not find any suitable Singaporeans. It is difficult to prove discrimination.

Also, while I am a strong advocate for giving priority to Singaporeans when hiring, I also strongly believe that there are many highly talented foreigners who can contribute to Singapore.

Therefore, even as we tighten the rules, we must calibrate them carefully so that we continue to welcome capable foreigners.

Patrick Tan

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