DPM replied with the percentage breakdown of employment by residential status in the various industries as at end of 2009 and 2010. The details are provided in Table 1.
[The data for end 2011 is not available yet.]
My response is clear. I’m startled by the information. For the first time, I have in my hands, clear data showing that the manufacturing industry promoted by the Ministry for Trade and Industry has only 52% local content. What does this mean to you? For every dollar and every square metre of industrial land we allocate to sustain the manufacturing industry, only approximately 50% of the jobs created are local jobs.
What is more startling is the percentage of foreign content under the Marine and Chemicals industry. It implies that for every 10 jobs created, only approximately 2 go to Singaporeans and Permanent Residents (PR). The figure has remained relatively constant in 2009 and 2010. In comparison, in the Aerospace industry and the Finance industry, the local jobs created are far heavier weighted towards locals.
Does this mean we have to shift the focus of our growth to industries that have higher local content? Or does this mean we have to restructure the chemicals and marine industries? I do not have enough information at this point. However, I will press on and ask the government through my parliamentary role for more details. Questions I will ask in the near future comprise the following:
1) How the different industries have used scarce industrial land?
2) How the wage distribution has transformed over the years?
3) What was the percentage split between Singaporean, PR and Foreigner for the various industries in Singapore? I’m mindful that locals comprise Singaporeans and PRs.
In the meantime, I urge Singaporeans to give me their full support in uncovering the sustainability of our economic sectors. I hope we, both the incumbent government and the alternative voices in Parliament, can join hands to transform the industries we have in Singapore in double quick time for a more inclusive and sustainable growth.
By Lina Chiam, Non-constituency Member of Parliament