13 Aug 2005

Indian, Malay job seekers complain of discrimination in Singapore

From Singapore Window

Hindustan Times
August 9, 2005
Indo-Asian News Services

INDIAN and Malay job seekers have complained of discrimination by employers who ask if they are proficient in Chinese, not if they can do the job, labour chief Lim Boon Heng said in a report on Tuesday, August 9.

Unfair recruitment practices that discriminate against minority race applicants will lead to tension, warned Lim, secretary-general of the National Trades Union Congress.

Some of the job interviewers ask if the Indians and Malays speak Mandarin, Lim said in the report.

"The few who responded that they could were then asked if they could write Chinese," the Straits Times quoted Lim as saying.

He urged employers to wipe out the ignorance that persists despite the high level of racial integration in the city-state. "Businesses thrive here because we have a harmonious society," he said.

Lim made the comments at a National Day observance marking Singapore's 40th birthday.

"If any minority group feels strongly that there is discrimination, there will be tension," he warned.

Singapore's population is predominantly Chinese. It includes 14 per cent who are Malays and six per cent Indians.

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