The second WPQ is, like the one I posted earlier about figures on PRs and citizens, an attempt to get more information on a topic close to the heart of many Singaporeans, on which precious little detailed official data has been available.
It is by now accepted, and probably ingrained in many if not most of us, that Singapore needs to remain open to foreign talent/workers, to enable our economy to continue growing. What we have never seen are official statistics on the types of foreign talent/workers coming into Singapore (although Leong Sze Hian has posted some statistics, albeit without attribution as to source -- see this article, in point F8).
Unfortunately, again I was fobbed off. I basically did not receive a reply to (a) or (b) at all. I'm OK with not getting an answer for (c), if the data is not tracked. But what took the cake was how the response was able to disclose the "published foreign employment level" of 756,000, and yet claim that "a breakdown is not available" with a straight face. It's tough to understand how we can publish a total number without having a breakdown. Another to try again in July.
(Figures on Complaints)
Mr Siew Kum Hong: To ask the Minister for National Development, of the approximately 10,000 complaints about stray cats received by the Agri-Food Veterinary Authority (AVA), HDB and the Town Councils (a) how many were repeat complaints; (b) how many persons are these repeat complaints attributable to; and (c) how many of these repeat complaints were directed to AVA, HDB and the Town Councils respectively.
Mr Mah Bow Tan: Of the 10,000 complaints on stray cats received per year, half were lodged with the Town Councils. The remainder were lodged with AVA and HDB.
Approximately 18% of the total complaints received by the Town Councils were repeat complaints. AVA and HDB do not track the number of repeat complaints.
(Figures and Nationalities)
Mr Siew Kum Hong: To ask the Minister for Manpower for each of the last ten years (a) how many P1, P2, Q, R and S passes were issued; (b) what were the 20 most common nationalities of each class of work pass holders; and (c) what was the average period of validity for each class of work pass.
Dr Ng Eng Hen: Chart 1 shows the employment changes from 1998. The published foreign employment level is 756,000 and a breakdown is not available.
In recent years, our foreign employment has grown in tandem with robust economic growth and job creation. The number of work passes has also risen across the different pass types.
Foreigners of all nationalities can apply for P, Q and S passes. Depending on the industry sector, R pass holders may be from Malaysia, North Asian Sources such as Hong Kong, Macau, South Korea and Taiwan, or Non-Traditional Sources including Bangladesh, China, India, Myanmar, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka and Thailand.
The length of stay, and hence period of work pass validity, for P, Q and S pass holders is largely determined by their employers. There is no stipulated maximum employment period. In contrast, there is a cap on the period that R pass holders can work in Singapore. MOM recently extended the maximum period to help employers retain their experienced R-pass holders. Please refer to Table 1.
Chart 1: Cumulative Employment Change, Jan 1998 - Dec 2006
[chart showing the "cumulative employment change" -- meaning the cumulative change in employment since January 1998 -- with one line for the total change, a second for the total change for local residents, and the third for the total change for foreigners. What this has to do with my question eludes me.]
Table 1: Maximum employment periods for R-pass Holders
|Skills Level of R-pass Holders||Previous Maximum Employment Period||Current Maximum Employment Period (as at 1 April 2007)|
|Skilled (R1 pass)||15 years||18 years|
|Unskilled (R2 pass)||4 years||6 years|