With growing retrenchment and unemployment affecting our citizens, CECA has come under the spotlight again in recent weeks. Amidst numerous postings on social media, MTI and Minister Chan Chun Seng has attempted to debunk alleged misinformation about the agreement. But his latest interview on TV was disappointing to say the least. Figures like 650 companies and 100,000 Singaporeans and PR benefiting from the scheme were quoted. However, he could not share the next level of details including information on the number of employees from India who converted to PR status and those who subsequently received citizenship within the 8 years under the “Intra-corporate transferee” provision of the agreement. Even a ballpark figure or percentage in numbers would have helped to put things in perspective and to dispel speculations regarding this contentious issue, something that he was trying to do.
So it is again back to the issue of transparency and the lack of information, including this topic of CECA which has been a hot-button issue. Non-information or misinformation is potentially divisive and betrays people’s trust. A simple balance sheet that lays out the facts and figures is what we ask for. The balance sheet that shows the number, type and value of companies invested in by both countries and the number, type and status (EP, SP, PR, citizen) employed by both sides will clear many doubts and speculations about CECA.
It is not acceptable for a minister to say “I do not have the figures”, when such questions can be anticipated or may have already been briefed to him prior to the TV interview or parliamentary sitting. Unless there is an attempt to take transparency more seriously especially in a subject affecting a vast majority of our workforce, nothing will be resolved. Our people will not be convinced unless the facts are laid bare.
Please show us data and not make general statements.
Singaporeans Deserve Better!
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