It was only two weeks ago that former Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad praised Singapore as the only country really ready to be part of the much-hyped Asean Economic Community. A week later, the city-state did something that seems decidedly anti-integration.
The government of Singapore last week announced the establishment of a central “job bank” as part of a plan to give priority to hiring local citizens. Discrimination of this sort is something that few people associate with an economy as free as that of Singapore.
Companies must now post certain openings with the job bank for two weeks before they can look at hiring foreigners. They need to be able to prove that they tried to hire someone local.
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