​Necessary to tighten foreign worker numbers: Chee Hong Tat
PUBLISHED ON 27 Feb 2019
The Government is committed to help companies transform but it is also necessary to rein in the foreign workers coming to Singapore, said Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry Mr Chee Hong Tat.
He explained that if the total number of foreign workers rises too quickly, employment outcomes of local workers will be affected and could lead to socio-political problems in Singapore. "We decided that it was better to make a move now to moderate the overall number of foreign workers in Singapore before the problems gets out of hand," he added.
Acknowledging that technology cannot completely replace the need for human workers, Mr Chee said that it is a tool that can be used to achieve results. He emphasised that the Government will continue to help companies adopt technology and transform their operations through various schemes such as the enhanced Productivity Solutions Grant (PSG) and the Enterprise Development Grant.
Mr Chee also rebutted several points raised by Workers Party MPs, who had politicised the Merdeka Generation Package (MPG) as an election tactic. 
He reiterated that funds have been set aside from current budget surpluses for the MGP. “You can’t do this during the start of the term because you do not know at that point how much surpluses you are going to have and how much surpluses you can set aside to fund these packages. This has been explained before. It is part of the design of our system for financial prudence and sustainability,” Mr Chee explained.