Skip to main content

Advertisement

Advertisement

Singaporean core does not mean S’poreans only, says Chun Sing

SINGAPORE — Labour chief Chan Chun Sing cautioned against mistakenly creating a “Singaporeans only” attitude in the country’s bid to develop a Singaporean core, which is more about creating “a diverse team of talents from cross-sector, cross-cultural backgrounds and international exposure”.

SINGAPORE — Labour chief Chan Chun Sing cautioned against mistakenly creating a “Singaporeans only” attitude in the country’s bid to develop a Singaporean core, which is more about creating “a diverse team of talents from cross-sector, cross-cultural backgrounds and international exposure”.

Mr Chan, who is also Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office, added that the Singaporean core cannot be defined as an “exclusive and inward-looking perspective”.

In making these points about the workforce in Parliament yesterday, he cited the examples of the head honchos for the Singapore arms of ExxonMobil and Shell, who are both Singaporeans with overseas exposure and have returned to take on leadership positions.

“NTUC (the labour movement) is committed to work with the companies to give our workers that very chance to be groomed,” Mr Chan said, “not just deep in their professional competencies, but to prepare them with the cross-sectoral competencies, so that they have the best shot to rise up the hierarchy and reach the C-suite positions.”

In a wide-ranging speech, Mr Chan also touched on the nation’s productivity drive and how average productivity figures are low. He noted that productivity varies across sectors and there is the need to identify “laggards” among the various industries.

To lift overall productivity numbers, three sectors that need particular attention are construction, retail, and food and beverages.

“We have to do much more if we truly care about workers’ salaries in these sectors,” he said. “Without real productivity growth, no matter what rules we come up with, (it) will all be artificial to lift the salaries of the lowest earners in our economy.”

Using the example of hotels where raising the productivity of housekeeping services is particularly challenging, Mr Chan said that productivity is often talked about in terms of new ideas, of how hotels may be designed differently.

“But I would urge all of us to look beyond all these because the turnover is too slow. If we only focus on the new ones, it will take us very long before we change the entire stock,” he said.

“So we need to pay attention not just to the new stock of companies coming in, but ... to the vast majority of old stock that we’ve inherited and must continue to work with.”

In addressing this same topic, Non-Constituency Member of Parliament Leon Perera suggested a productivity benchmarking system for businesses, especially the small and medium enterprises who lack the resources and information to gauge their performances compared to the rest of the sector.

He said: “This (ranking) would be similar to how our household utilities bill shows a chart of our electricity and water consumption compared to similar-sized households and the national average.”

This means that government agencies could agree on a company-level standard to rank productivity. And data extracted from financial statements filed with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) could be used to derive an average figure for the company.

Then each year, an assigned government agency could write to each company on its productivity level, its ranking, and where it stands along benchmarks.

Once a company’s productivity rank improves, that could be used as one of the criteria to grant access to government schemes, Mr Perera said.

Read more of the latest in

Advertisement

Popular

Advertisement

Stay in the know. Anytime. Anywhere.

Subscribe to get daily news updates, insights and must reads delivered straight to your inbox.

By clicking subscribe, I agree for my personal data to be used to send me TODAY newsletters, promotional offers and for research and analysis.