An inclusive narrative for both locals and foreigners
We hope to have an inclusive community that is accepting and welcoming of foreigners in Singapore. We pride ourselves as a harmonious, multi-cultural and open society. Many of us have had positive encounters with our foreign-born friends, neighbours, and colleagues. Instead of drawing distinctions between locals and foreigners, we feel that it is important to build a shared sense of community.
We hope to foster more meaningful social mixing between locals and foreigners in the community. Some of us suggested that we could share stories of foreign-born individuals who have gone above and beyond to help others during the pandemic. Locals can also do their part by reaching out to foreign-born friends and colleagues, introducing them to Singapore culture and helping them adjust to life in Singapore. Our youth hope that Singaporeans can be more accepting towards migrant workers and help them integrate into Singapore.
Appreciation for migrant workers and care for their welfare
We want to recognise migrant workers’ contributions to Singapore. We feel that many of them are treated as invisible and disregarded by society, and our youth feel that migrant workers have not been given enough credit for their contributions to Singapore. The pandemic exposed the vulnerability and the poor living conditions of those who live in dormitories. When dormitory infection cases were high, we read stories of migrant workers facing mental health issues or attempting suicide. Our youth are also concerned that migrant workers may be unfairly paid and unsure of how to seek redress. We want to be more compassionate towards the migrant workers in our midst and enable them to live well in Singapore.
We feel that we should show greater respect and care towards migrant workers. We could show our appreciation towards migrant workers at key events, such as our National Day Parade, to recognise the contributions and sacrifices that they have made. We should speak up against xenophobia and racist remarks. We should not shy away from confronting these sensitive issues and having these difficult conversations, so that we can work through different perspectives, and adjust our mindset towards migrant workers.
More transparent employment practices regarding locals and foreigners
Local employees want more transparent and fair employment practices. Some locals have been displaced from their jobs or faced greater competition at work as a result of foreigners. We hope that the government can be more transparent in sharing information about employment policies towards foreign professionals and how we ensure fair opportunities for locals, so that Singaporeans can have a better understanding of our overall economic needs.
Notwithstanding the competition that foreign professionals bring to the local job market, we recognise their contribution to the economy. Some of us who are business owners feel that foreign professionals help propel Singapore and Singapore companies onto the global scene. Nonetheless, jobseekers hope that employers can strike a balance between hiring locals and foreigners. We want to progress as a cosmopolitan global city with fair workplace practices, where people are hired based on merit, and not because companies favour certain nationalities.