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8/20/2006

open jobs to foreigners selectively

Mr Lee added that Singapore has to educate the young to higher standards so that they can move up the value chain and do higher end and more difficult jobs. At the same time, the government will continue to invest in new schools to develop talent. These are the basics that are needed for Singapore to continually adjust and grow, MM Lee said. But Mr Lee warned that the government cannot stop the worldwide trend of lower wage increases for the lower income group, thus the urgency to learn new skills. To move ahead and compete, Mr Lee felt that the services sector is the sure sector, which cannot be "migrated so easily" or outsourced. The above was an extract of LKY's National Day Dinner speech at Tanjong Pagar. LKY said that the service sector is one area that cannot be outsourced or migrated easily. This means that this sector will still be a reserve for Singaporeans if they want them. To take this further, there are many services and industries that need not be opened up to foreigners. And such industries and services should be identified and their job opportunities be Singaporeans preferred. In our attempt to open the country, there is no need to open up everything, including our backside. Some parts must still be covered. We have protected the political system, the legal system, some sectors of the civil service like defence and home affairs etc, we can do more. There are many areas in the private sectors that need not be given away so freely and easily. There is a need to be a little street smart while we open up. Or Singaporeans will end up begging the foreigners to have mercy and not to compete with them for jobs. Opening up is a good thing to attract more foreign talents. But it should not be done foolishly.

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