Corrections And Clarifications Regarding Falsehoods Posted By The Singapore Democratic Party

The Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) published two Facebook posts and an article on the SDP’s website regarding Singapore’s population policy that contain falsehoods.

The Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) published two Facebook posts and an article on the SDP’s website regarding Singapore’s population policy that contain falsehoods. In addition, SDP paid for both posts to be boosted as advertisements on Facebook. Both posts are linked to an article on the SDP’s website titled, “SDP Population Policy: Hire S’poreans First, Retrench S’poreans last”.

One of the Facebook posts includes a graphical illustration depicting plunging local PMET employment.

This is wrong. As reported in the Ministry of Manpower’s Comprehensive Labour Force Survey, local PMETs employment has risen steadily since 2015.

The article on the SDP’s website titled, “SDP Population Policy: Hire S’poreans First, Retrench S’poreans last”, contains the statement: “The SDP’s proposal comes amidst a rising proportion of Singaporean PMETs getting retrenched”.

This statement is also wrong. There is no rising trend of local PMET retrenchments.  The number of local PMETs retrenched in 2018 was, in fact, the lowest since 2014. Local PMETs retrenched, as a proportion of all local PMET employees, has also declined since 2015.

POFMA has been used to place the facts alongside the falsehoods.

FALSEHOODS

The following are falsehoods in SDP’s Facebook posts, advertisements, and website.

Falsehood #1: The claim that local PMET employment has been going down

SGP1
[Screenshot from SDP’s Facebook post]

This graph depicts the number of Singaporean PMETs employed as having fallen sharply. This is false. 

Fact #1:  the number of local PMETs employed has increased from 1.17 million in 2015 to 1.30 million in 2019. 

The Ministry of Manpower (MOM)’s Comprehensive Labour Force Survey (CLFS) shows local PMETs employment has risen steadily since 2015. In fact, as a proportion of the total local workforce, the local PMET share has increased from 54% in 2015 to 58% in 2019.

capture 1
Source: Comprehensive Labour Force Survey, Manpower Research & Statistics Department, MOM

Falsehood #2 - The claim that Singaporean PMET retrenchment has been going up. 

The SDP website states that the party’s “proposal comes amidst a rising proportion of Singaporean PMETs getting retrenched”. This statement is false.

Fact #2a: There has been no rising trend of local retrenchments since 2015.

capture 2
Source: Labour Market Survey, Manpower Research & Statistics Department, MOM

Fact #2b: There has been no rising trend of local PMET retrenchment since 2015. The number of retrenched local PMETs has declined from 6,460 in 2015 to 5,360 in 2018, the lowest since 2014.

capture 3
Source: Labour Market Survey, Manpower Research & Statistics Department, MOM

Fact #2c: The number of local PMETs retrenched as a share of all local PMET employees has also declined since 2015.

capture 4
Source: Labour Market Survey, Manpower Research & Statistics Department, MOM

CLARIFICATION ON FOREIGN PMETS

SDP’s graph above also depicts the number of foreign PMETs as having increased sharply in recent years.

The number of Employment Pass (EP) holders has historically fluctuated depending on economic conditions.  EP qualifying salaries are also regularly adjusted to safeguard employment of local PMETs.  As a result, local PMET employment has continued to grow while the number of EP holders in Singapore  remained stable, ranging from 187,900 in 2015 to 185,800 in 2018. The latest figure as of Jun 2019 is 189,000.

 capture 5
Source: Ministry of Manpower

SDP’s statements seek to mislead Singaporeans

The Singapore economy is continuing to create jobs despite the economic headwinds. Local PMET employment has increased consistently. There is no rising trend of retrenchment, whether amongst PMETs or otherwise.

Given the current uncertain economic climate, it is understandable that some Singaporeans feel anxious about employment prospects and retrenchments. This makes it all the more critical that public debate on the important issue of jobs is based on accurate facts, and not distortions or falsehoods.

These false and misleading statements by the SDP have a singular objective – to stoke fear and anxiety among local PMETs. It is important to set the facts straight so that Singaporeans are not misled.

 

Relevant links:

Local PMET Employment - Labour Force in Singapore Advance Release

Number of retrenched locals – Labour Market Report 2018

More information on POFMA