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Author Topic: Screen shots of Gan Thiam Poh Facebook posts  (Read 55569 times)
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limweech

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« Reply #4 on: October 18, 2011, 04:57:21 PM »

I'm eager to see the transcript for the full speech.

The Channel News Asia host at  http://info.channelnewsasia.com/videoplayer/bigeplayer/videoplayer.php?playerName=specialreport&skin=player1.swf&filename=_Parl%20Floor_20111018_highlights.flv summarized Mr Gan's speech using the term "locals" instead of "Singaporeans", while the video of part of his speech has the term "Singaporeans". The relevant part of the video starts around the 3/4 mark. Report by S Ramesh and Hetty Musfirah used the term "Singaporeans".

Why is the term used, "locals" or "Singaporeans" important? Because the Ministry of Manpower defines a "local" as "Singapore Citizen or Permanent Resident (PR)". Quotas used for calculating the number of foreign workers permit is based on the number of "locals" employed.
"Residents" is another term used to indicate "Singapore Citizen or PR".

http://www.mom.gov.sg/newsroom/Pages/PressReleasesDetail.aspx?listid=373

   A local (also known as resident) employee is any Singapore citizen or Permanent Resident

http://www.mom.gov.sg/foreign-manpower/passes-visas/work-permit-fw/before-you-apply/Pages/construction-sector.aspx#quota

   An employer in the construction sector is allowed to hire seven Work Permit holders for every full-time local employee

http://www.mom.gov.sg/foreign-manpower/passes-visas/work-permit-fw/before-you-apply/Pages/marine-sector.aspx

   An employer in the marine industry is allowed to hire five Work Permit holders for every full-time local employee.

http://www.mom.gov.sg/foreign-manpower/passes-visas/work-permit-fw/before-you-apply/Pages/service-sector.aspx

   Service sector employers can employ Work Permit holders up to 50% of the company’s/firm’s total workforce.
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limweech

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« Reply #5 on: October 19, 2011, 05:36:53 PM »

http://www.facebook.com/notes/gan-thiam-poh/debate-on-presidents-address/296544887042162

17 October 2011

MP for Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC

Mr Gan Thiam Poh

I. Cost of living

 

1. Mr Speaker, Sir, I support the motion standing in the name of the Member for Sengkang West, Dr Lam Pin Min, to thank the President for his Address.

2. The rising cost of living is one of the chief concerns among Singaporeans, particularly among those in the 20th percentile whose real income had stagnated, rising only 0.3 per cent over the last 10 years, after taking into account inflation.

3. This group of Singaporeans struggle with the intense competition and rapid changes brought by globalization. For them, it is almost as if they are running on a treadmill which has been increasing relentlessly both in speed and incline. It seems that all they can do is to keep themselves from falling off.

4. The Workforce Development Agency (WDA) is in the process of helping them through retraining. It is a step in the right direction but it would take time for these workers to pick up new skills and get better paying jobs.

5. Therefore, in the meantime, there is a need for us to control the cost of living as such increases have a much larger impact on this group of Singaporeans.

6. The Government should continue to look at reduction in charges, fees and even rental to reduce their cost burden. A good example of this was the removal of the TV licence fee after many years of lobbying by MPs and residents. This has been much appreciated.

7. Food expenses take up quite a significant proportion of the budgets of lower income groups. Our hawker centres have always played a key role in providing affordable food for the masses and provided opportunities for the needy and low income groups to make a living. Hence, I would like to thank the Minister for Environment and Water Resources for deciding to resume the building of hawker centres to meet the needs of the residents in new population centres. Everyone has welcomed this announcement.

8. The other heavyweight cost component is housing. The steep rise in property prices has caused much anxiety, particularly among young couples. Hence, I am in support of the cooling measures that have been implemented by the Ministry. The assurance to increase supply and stabilise prices will also encourage more young Singaporeans to set up families and have children.

II. Foreign Workers Quota

 

1. Another recent hot topic is the foreign workers quota. Businesses continue to face a severe labour shortage even as the foreign workers quotas are being lowered.

2. MOM may wish to review their foreign workers quota policy to base it upon the wages of the Singaporean workers instead of the numbers employed. This may better serve the needs of both Singaporeans and businesses.

3. Doing so will incentivise businesses to upgrade the skills of their Singaporean workers and to invest in technology which enhance productivity in order to attain and justify higher salaries for Singaporean workers.

4. Singaporean workers will get to benefit directly, unlike the present situation where the punitive policies of increasing workers’ levy push up business cost. In this way neither businesses nor Singaporeans workers benefit directly.

5. I would like to propose that only those companies employing local full-time workers with a minimum salary of $1,500 will be considered eligible for application for work permits for foreign workers. A higher ratio can be extended to an employer whose Singaporean workers earn more than $1500.

6. We should also explore the possibility of linking foreign worker quotas to the number of women with children employed in a company; the no of Singaporeans workers have been sent for skills upgrading and the number of re-employed older workers.

III. Fertility Rate

 

1. On the topic of children, we should continue to encourage young Singaporeans to have more babies.

 

2. The times have changed and our environment is getting increasingly competitive due to globalization. Hence, we need to give a helping hand to our young men and women, even though they are more highly educated and affluent than their parents. They work longer hours and have to go for courses continuously to upgrade themselves. Let us do more to lessen their burden so that they will be motivated to have more babies.

3. Firstly, we can consider a 10% to 20% discount or rebate for their HDB flat if they have children or for each child they have. HDB may also consider removing the income ceiling for first time home buyers.

4. Or more heavily subsidised or free infant and child care run by the government, which can be set up at schools to provide convenience and accessibility to parents.

5. We should also have measures to encourage more Singaporeans to take up child care as their profession.

6. The Minister for Manpower may wish to consider reducing the maid levy for each child born.

7. Another suggestion is mandatory shorter working hours for mothers at the workplace.

8. All these measures must be bold enough to send strong signals to young Singaporeans that we need to reproduce to ensure the minimum replacement fertility rate for Singapore.

IV. Re-employment (重新雇用)

 

1. Mr Speaker Sir, I will now continue my speech in Mandarin.

2. 接着,我要谈的课题是重新雇用。根据人力部七月公布的数据显示,在2010年,有94%年龄达62岁的员工继续工作。这是个令人感到鼓舞的消息。

3. 目前,我国的劳动力市场面对人手紧缺问题。让健康状况和工作表现好的年长工友继续工作不仅是法律义务,也是解决人手短缺的方案。

4. 我希望政府能继续通过种种措施鼓励雇主聘请年长者及重新雇用退休工友。虽然他们可能在办事效力或生产力这方面比不上较年轻的员工,但是他们累积的经验肯定能让他们对公司做有意义的贡献。

5. 因此我建议,为了鼓励更多公司继续聘请年长者,人力部考虑将一个公司内的年长员工的人数列为它能否获许聘请外国员工的条件之一。

6. 我也要求政府考虑协助填补年长者的雇主公积金缴交额。我相信这措施能吸引一些雇主并减低他们对雇用年长者的抗拒。

V. Education : Character Building (品格与公民教育)

1. 接下来,我想对教育部决定把重点放在培养学生的价值观,并推出新的品格与公民教育课程,表示支持。

2. 品德教育是教育事业的根本。我国的教育方向一来非常注重学业成绩,并以学生往后的就业为目标。

3. 有些雇主反映员工的成绩和情商(EQ)不成对比,也注意到有些年轻人和学生缺乏同情心,以自己为中心,不为他人着想。虽然不是很清楚是我们的教育在这方面忽略了,还是每一个城市、国家都难免有这类型的公民,我还是支持教育部“以人为本,以价值为导向”的新方向。

4. 当然,要推行"全人教育"(holistic education)的大环境,除了学校,家长也扮演着重要角色。如果家长的所作所为和学校灌输的价值观相反,学校的教导所能取得的效果将是有限的。

5. 我相信多数人都同意教育部接下来要注重品格和价值观的教育,但是由于一般家长十分关注和紧张孩子的成绩,要如何在品格和价值观的教育和学生取得学识优势之间取得平衡,会是个很大的挑战,毕竟时间、人力资源有限。

6. 不过,我国一路来,只要下定决心要做好的事,似乎都能如愿以偿。因此,我有信心这目标是可行的,对于教育部要如何在成绩与品格和价值观教育上取得平衡,我拭目以待。

VI. Opportunities

 

1. Mr Speaker Sir, I would now like to resume my speech in English.

2. Besides moral education and character building, the other development in education which I find very encouraging is the Government's mission "to better cater to the strengths and interests of each child, and to allow every child to find his or her own path to success".

3. While it is impossible to ensure that every child has the same opportunities, the Ministry’s commitment to provide every child with access to opportunities, regardless of family circumstances and background, is as close as we can get.

4. I am heartened to read about the Ministry’s plan to explore how more university places and pathways can be created to allow Singaporeans to get degrees.

5. Every Singaporean is important to us. We need to help each and everyone realise his or her potential for the benefit of our nation and society. Not only should we provide multiple pathways to success, we also have to redefine and widen our vision of success. We must be willing to give more than a second chance to those among us who stumble. If I may share a phrase which I came across recently: “Anyone can count the seeds in an Apple, No one can count the apples in a seed” It is important to give each and everyone a chance to fulfill his greatest potential, even if he may not appear to have promising qualities.

6. I know that the author, JK Rowling, of the Harry Potter series was living on government subsidies for a short while before she managed to find a publisher for her first Harry Potter book, after more than 10 rejections.

 

7. Is our society compassionate, forgiving and accommodating enough to help the JK Rowlings amongst us while they struggle to find their footing?

8. Many may equate compassion with handouts or donations but often what they really need are opportunities. I have come across quite a number of residents who turned down my offer of financial assistance during MPS and house visits. What they need instead are job opportunities.

9. Recently a 63-year-old resident approached me for financial assistance, which we were able to provide. However, it was more challenging to help him with his other request - for a job similar to the one he last held. He had contracted polio when he was two and is wheelchair-bound but that had not deterred him from playing music professionally. He played with a well-known band "The Thunderbirds" for almost 20 years until 1987. He performed in lounges of country and community clubs, and hotels until he was retrenched this year. He is keen to work but the opportunities are not there.

10. Could this be due to the fact that our employment market is very open? Can we do more to protect the opportunities for our people, especially the elderly, the disabled and women with children? I believe it can be done without compromising our competition edge too much. Jobs provide independence and dignity. Jobs are a fundamental right which we should guard earnestly.

11. Mr Speaker, Sir, on this note, I end my speech by re-affirming my support for the motion.
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limweech

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« Reply #6 on: October 19, 2011, 06:16:14 PM »

Quote
II. Foreign Workers Quota

1. Another recent hot topic is the foreign workers quota. Businesses continue to face a severe labour shortage even as the foreign workers quotas are being lowered.

2. MOM may wish to review their foreign workers quota policy to base it upon the wages of the Singaporean workers instead of the numbers employed. This may better serve the needs of both Singaporeans and businesses.

3. Doing so will incentivise businesses to upgrade the skills of their Singaporean workers and to invest in technology which enhance productivity in order to attain and justify higher salaries for Singaporean workers.

4. Singaporean workers will get to benefit directly, unlike the present situation where the punitive policies of increasing workers’ levy push up business cost. In this way neither businesses nor Singaporeans workers benefit directly.

5. I would like to propose that only those companies employing local full-time workers with a minimum salary of $1,500 will be considered eligible for application for work permits for foreign workers. A higher ratio can be extended to an employer whose Singaporean workers earn more than $1500.

6. We should also explore the possibility of linking foreign worker quotas to the number of women with children employed in a company; the no of Singaporeans workers have been sent for skills upgrading and the number of re-employed older workers.

Both terms "Singaporeans" and "local" used in the speech.
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limweech

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« Reply #7 on: November 15, 2011, 03:19:59 PM »

Link for video of speech, http://www.channelnewsasia.com/parliament/video_archive.php?blurb=MP-Gan-Thiam-Poh-of-Pasir-RisPunggol-GRC-speaks-on-the-motion-to-thank-the-President-for-his-address-to-Parliament&video=_Parl%20Floor_20111018_GanThiamPoh.flv&title=parliament_20111018__Parl-Floor_20111018_GanThiamPoh.flv
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