Tuesday September 11, 2012
Singapore's labour restriction could be a blessing, says Len
By ZORA CHAN
KUCHING: Singapore’s new labour ruling that prevents Sarawakian and Sabahan male natives below 35 from working in the republic is seen as a blessing in disguise.
Assistant Minister in the Chief Minister’s Department (Promotion of Technical Education) Datuk Len Talif Salleh said Sarawak had ample employment opportunities for the people.
He said with the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE) developing rapidly, more workers ranging from skilled to semi-skilled were needed in the state.
“If we look at the matter positively, it’s a blessing in disguise for us because in Sarawak we’re short of workers in the construction and industry sectors,” he told The Star when contacted yesterday.
He was asked to comment on a news report by The Star on Singapore’s new ruling after a series of crimes and fights involving rowdy native Sarawakians and Sabahans in the republic.
Len said presently there were about 6,000 construction workers in Samalaju, Bintulu, one of the growth nodes of SCORE.
“But due to labour shortage, about 80% of them are foreign workers.
“By the end of this year, we need another 2,000 to 3,000 skilled and semi-skilled workers,” he said.
He said Samalaju would need highly skilled workers soon and it was the state government’s hope that Sarawakians would fill up these vacancies.
“We hope more Sarawakians will come back to the state with their experience and expertise and help develop these industries,” he said.
Concurring with Len, Tourism Deputy Minister Datuk Dr James Dawos Mamit said the state had plenty of job opportunities.
He said on normal circumstances, a person would not commit a wrongdoing unless provoked.
“Maybe they were not paid well or pressured and knowing young people, they can be easily provoked,” he said.
Dawos said if Sarawakians really wanted to work in the republic, they could ask the Foreign Ministry to appeal in relaxing the rule.