Singapore work ban clarification stops speculations
by Geryl Ogilvy Ruekeith, firstname.lastname@example.org. Posted on September 18, 2012, Tuesday
KUCHING: The move by the Singapore Ministry of Manpower to clarify the issue of banning Sarawak and Sabah male natives below 35 to work in the city state is vital to maintaining its good relationship with the country.
Gagasan Dayak Iban Bersatu Malaysia (Gaiu) president Sai Malaka who said this yesterday lauded the Singaporean government for taking a more positive approach to stop speculations on the dealing of its foreign workers issue.
He was content that the island republic decided on imposing a more stringent criteria on hiring and retention of foreign workers rather than banning a certain group from entering the country altogether.
“Singapore has demonstrated that it does not practise discrimination and this is very important to ensure cooperation and political relations remain strong especially amongst Asean member countries. On behalf of all Sarawakians, Gaiu is grateful that the Singaporean government decided against banning Sarawak and Sabah male natives below 35 from working in the city state,” continued Sai when contacted.
He added that Gaiu had always emphasised to Sarawakians abroad the importance of cooperating and maintaining a healthy relationship with foreign authorities.
On another note, Sai advised Sarawakians who aspire to work in Singapore or other foreign countries to apply for their work permit properly (through legal manpower agencies) and not to abuse their visiting pass.
His message came in light of a recent case where 12 Iban crane operators of a sand extraction company were detained by Singapore authorities for not having proper work permits.
Reported by national news agency Bernama yesterday, Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower clarified that there was no ban on workers from Sabah and Sarawak to work in the republic.
In a statement issued through the Singapore High Commission in Kuala Lumpur, it said that the country would continue to approve work permits of workers from the two East Malaysian states who are found eligible and suitable to work in the island republic.
The ministry noted it had tightened the criteria on the hiring and retention of foreign manpower over the last few years to regulate the growth of foreign workforce and promote productivity-led growth. Workers from various sources worldwide including Malaysia and states of Sabah and Sarawak notably are not exempted from the more stringent criteria.