Monday, August 22, 2005

Don’t just Talk, ACT! ~ Anti-Discrimination Laws

Don’t just Talk, ACT! ~ Anti-Discrimination Laws

Nah, this is not a repeat of the Sammyboy’s Forum on All Talk No Action thread. This is about our Prime Minister’s speech!

Prime Minister Lee has talked about the discrimination of employer stack up against old workers. There were also minister talking about racial discrimination practices in employment recently. The ultimate question is, has the PAP government done anything about discrimination practices in employment? Could they possibly do anything in the first place?

Yes, they could have done something meaningful to tackle these practices of discrimination. Even in Hong Kong whereby the minority races only contribute an insignificant percentage, they have enacted laws that protect minority interests against discrimination. On top of that, they have laws against discrimination in general with a governing body, Equal Opportunity Commission set up. This commission is being led by retired judges to look into complaints of unfair discrimination practices, particularly in work places.

Hong Kong is definitely not the only place with such laws enforced. In both Taiwan and America, Equal Employment Opportunity Commissions (EEOC in short) are set up as enforcing agents against employment discrimination. Discrimination based on race, religion, gender, disability, age, sexuality, pregnancy etc are basically outlawed. Readers could find comprehensive details on anti-discrimination laws in the following link:

This is one of my fundamental belief that we should NOT just talk and talk on discrimination of all sorts but act on it by enacting laws and enforce them through a mechanism that ensure equal opportunities are given to everyone. But apparently PAP only likes to talk about equal opportunities for everybody in Singapore, talk about “undesirable” employment practices but do nothing more meaningful than talking. I think basically it is due to the fact that the civil service together with the GLCs have become the biggest employer in Singapore! Could they enforce such anti-discrimination laws on these entities?

Goh Meng Seng

Afternote: A reader provided a website address for those who want more information and Guide to Prove Employment Discrimination and Filing a Lawsuit


MHS said...

I agree whole heartedly with your statement. It brings me back to when I was job searching after my national service for a grand total of 07 months unsuccesfully going for dozens of interviews. The thing was & still is I am not that highly educated and as such the kinds of jobs that I was applying for were in fact entry level jobs and offered paltry remuneration. Remembering the way the government has accused singaporeans of being too choosy disgusted me as I was not choosy and was willing to work anywhere but it was frustrating to apply and have the mandarin speaking/writing prerequisite on every job opening. FYI I can speak mandarin and this didnt help one iota. I only got the present job I have now through help from an officer of mine during my ns days. Started work at a basic of 850 dollars and this was in 1997. I am currently unhappy at my job but thinking of my past experiences looking for a job it seems that if i do it i'll have an even worse time now. Was reading in the new paper the other daya about how this malay guy was taking mandarin lessons for the express purpose of getting a job. I didnt know wether to laugh or to cry after reading that.

Admin said...

Dear mhs,

Rest assured that you are not the only one being discriminated.

The hype about "Foreign Talents" have made many big corporations discriminate against local workers, regardless of race, language or religion! We have a new discrimination practice, Nationality!

Singapore Serf, the blog, have a record of the discrimination that corporations are putting against Singaporeans.

Goh Meng Seng

Sleek Black said...

I support you.....Not only for old people, Singapore must have laws for protection against disabled people in terms of employment...The disabled people have a tough time looking for jobs. We, disabled people, want Equal Opportunity Employer laws.

Anonymous said...

Remember during the year 1998 after France won the World Cup then and soon a high ranking Minister commented afterwards on front page about bringing in Foreign Talent? He cited then the example of France winning the cup due to foreign talent in their team..

Hahahah, what a Bad example!!

That Minister should be kicked out!!

Anonymous said...

Well, how about the discrimination of Government agencies against foreign companies?
Governement agencies can put so many road blocks in the path, if you apply for something that it is better to just leave Singapore alone and go elsewhere in Asia, for example Hong Kong.
You can comply with the same international standard in 200 countries of the world, but if you come to Singapore, that standard is understood totally different, just for you, because you are a competitor and without their approval you can't do anything legally.
If we don't get that approval we just have to shut down operations in Singapore or go bancrupt slowly because of losing market share.

Anonymous said...

Oh, BTW, we have maybe 50 people in Singapore, 2 of which are foreigners, all others are Chinese, Malay or Indians (all local).

Anonymous said...

As a highly developed economy, singapore is probably the last one that doesn't enact an anti-discrimination law. Think about how great it will be if the employment does not discriminate based on "race, religion, gender, disability, age, sexuality, pregnancy etc". Incidentally, did you all notice, that all the countries where enacted anti-discrimination law are democracy? What is Singapore? Without democracy, singapore may be a developed economy, but not a socially fair place.