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MOM’s Statement on the Singapore Democratic Party’s Response

1 In a Facebook post on 15 Dec 2019 (“SDP’s 15 Dec Post”), the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) claims that it had based its assertion about “a rising proportion of Singapore PMETs getting retrenched” on news reports, including one by The Straits Times (“PMETs make up rising share of retrenched locals”, 15 March 2019).

2 What the ST report means is that among all retrenched locals (7,070 in 2018), the number of PMETs among them has risen. This is fundamentally different from what the SDP says, which is that among Singapore PMETs (1,254,000 in 2018), the number getting retrenched has risen. SDP’s statement is wrong - among local PMETs, the number retrenched has declined from 6,460 in 2015 to 5,360 in 2018.

3 MOM further explained the context in Parliament on 1 April 2019 (ST subsequently published a report on MOM’s explanation as well). The Parliamentary response stated that there are now more locals employed in PMET jobs. As a result, in a retrenchment exercise, more of the locals affected could be PMETs. However, retrenchments have not been rising. In fact, in 2018, the number of local PMETs retrenched (5,360) was the lowest since 2014.

4 The two key points which MOM has highlighted in the correction notices are:

  1. There is no rising trend of local PMET retrenchment.
  2. Local PMET employment has in fact increased consistently and continues to do so.

5 This is very different from the picture painted by the SDP.

6 In this period of economic uncertainty, it is understandable that Singaporeans are concerned about jobs. MOM’s objective in pointing out false and misleading statements is to ensure that public debate on the important issue of jobs are based on accurate facts.

7 This statement provides MOM’s clarification on the more salient points in SDP’s 15 Dec Post, and is not intended to provide an exhaustive response. In this regard, we note that SDP has responded to the Correction Directions issued by POFMA Office, and stated its intent to apply for the cancellation of the Directions. We will consider the grounds of their application should it be submitted.