Sunday, 14 March 2010

Door narrows for foreign workers in Singapore

SINGAPORE—Construction workers from Bangladesh, hotel staff from the Philippines, waitresses from China, shipyard welders from Myanmar, technology professionals from India—Singapore has them all.

For years the rich but worker-starved city-state, built by mainly Chinese immigrants, had rolled out the welcome mat for foreigners, whose numbers rose drastically during the economic boom from 2004-2007.

But with one in three of the five million people living on the tiny island now a foreigner and citizens complaining about competition for jobs, housing, and medical care, the government is taking a fresh look at its open-door policy

With the grumbling getting louder and general elections expected to be called before they are due in 2012, the government has unveiled measures to reduce reliance on foreigners and assure citizens they remain the priority. Read more

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