FOREIGN LABOR IN SINGAPORE

FOREIGN LABOR IN SINGAPORE

Singapore's economy is heavily dependent on foreign labor, particularly in blue collar jobs, including construction and service work. Two groups comprised foreign nonresident labor in Singapore. The majority are unskilled work-permit holders who can only enter and work in the country if their prospective employers applied for work permits for them. Skilled workers and professionals on employment passes comprise the other group.

An estimated 2 million foreign nationals now live in Singapore, which has a total population of about 5.5 million. Many of them work in Singapore but a large portion don’t. The government-engineered immigration push almost doubled Singapore’s population between 1990 and 2012. In 2006, the government granted PR permits to 58,200 and citizenship papers to 13,900 foreigners. Every year about 100,000 foreigners in search of work—and who become permanent residents— arrive in Singapore. They have been allowed to provide labor and compensate for Singapore’s low birth rate. A white paper on the issue said: "If we do too little to address the demographic challenge, we risk becoming a steadily greying society, losing vitality and verve, with our young people leaving for opportunities elsewhere...But if we take in too many immigrants and foreign workers, we will weaken our national identity and sense of belonging, and feel crowded out of our own home."

Work permits have typically been for a short duration with no guarantee of automatic renewal. Malaysia, particularly the southernmost state of Johor, was the traditional source of such workers. Singapore's tight immigration policy was relaxed as early as 1968 to allow in these workers. At the peak of the economic boom in 1973, noncitizen work-permit holders reportedly accounted for about one-eighth of the total work force. Large numbers of these "guest workers" were repatriated during the 1974-75 world recession because of retrenchments, particularly in the labor-intensive manufacturing industries. [Source: Library of Congress, 1989 *]

With the tightening of the labor market in 1978-79, it became more difficult to fill less desirable jobs with domestic labor or labor from Malaysia, which also had a tight job market. Foreign workers were then recruited from Indonesia, Thailand, Sri Lanka, India, Bangladesh, and the Philippines. By 1984 workers from South Korea, Hong Kong, Macao, and Taiwan were being allowed in, on the basis that their Confucian cultural background might enable them to adapt more readily than immigrants from other cultures. *

The increase in foreign workers was remarkable; by 1980 they comprised 7 percent of the total compared with 3 percent a decade earlier. No figures on foreign labor were published after 1980. According to the 1980 census, 46 percent of the foreign workers were in manufacturing, 20 percent in construction, and 9 percent in personal and household services. The recession led to a repatriation of some 60,000 foreign workers in 1985, two-thirds of the total employment decline. The foreign worker levy was raised to S$250 per month in July 1989, and the maximum foreign worker dependency at the firm level was reduced from 50 percent to 40 percent. Both measures were designed to encourage firms to speed up automation of labor-intensive operations in order to reduce reliance on foreign workers. *

Foreign Workers in Singapore

There are around 1.3 million foreign workers in Singapore. They make up about 36 percent of Singapore's labour force. Of the total about 550,000 are foreign domestic workers and construction workers. Many of them get low wages for doing jobs that Singaporeans don’t want to do. Most of them are from South and Southeast Asia, mostly Malaysia, Indonesia, China, Bangladesh, Pakistan, India and Sri Lanka. There are also tens of thousands of foreign supervisors, manages and professionals working in Singapore. Many of them are from the United States, Europe and Japan. By one count there are 30,000 American in Singapore.

Foreign Workers in Singapore (Dec 2009, Dec 2010, Dec 2011, Dec 2012, Dec 2013): A) Total Foreign Workforce: 1,053,500, 1,113,200, 1,197,900, 1,268,300, 1,321,600; B) Total Foreign Workforce, (excluding Foreign Domestic Workers) 857,400, 911,800, 991,600, 1,058,700, 1,107,100; C) Total Foreign Workforce, (excluding Foreign Domestic Workers & Construction) 588,300, 638,900, 699,100, 731,300, 748,100; D) Employment Pass (EP), 114,300, 143,300, 175,400, 173,800, 175,100, S Pass, 82,800, 98,700, 113,900, 142,400, 160,900; E) Work Permit (Total), 856,300 871,200 908,600 952,100 985,600; F) Work Permit (Foreign Domestic Worker) 196,000 201,400 206,300 209,600 214,500; G) Work Permit (Construction) 245,700 248,100 264,500 293,400 319,100. [Source: Ministry of Manpower, Government of Singapore ]

Tamil and Malay workers perform menial jobs like mowing lawns at garden apartment complexes, carrying materials at construction sites and doing kitchen work at the hotels. Their jobs seems to be recession proof. During the economic downturn in the early 2000s demand for these kinds of jobs increased rather decreased. Many maids and domestic workers are from Indonesia. A typical Bangladeshi construction worker in the early 2000s fitted sewage pipes in buildings and slept on a straw mat in a container at the site where he worked—and was content doing that. He made his own meals and ate them with other Bangladeshis. That way he could live on about $110 a month and send most of his $450 a month salary back to his family in Dhaka. Indonesians have been denied entry to Singapore because they were considered security risks.

Human Rights and Migrant Workers in Singapore

According to Human Rights Watch: Despite partial reforms introduced in recent years, including capping recruitment fees at two months' salary, Singapore’s 208,000 foreign domestic workers are still excluded from the Employment Act and key labor protections, such as limits on daily work hours. A March 2012 reform guaranteeing domestic workers who arrive on new contracts after January 1, 2013, a weekly rest day rather than the current monthly day off, contains a provision permitting employers to give domestic workers monetary compensation in lieu of rest so long as the worker agrees. Given the power imbalance, there is significant risk that an employer will coerce a worker to sign away their rest days. [Source: Human Rights Watch <*>]

Foreign workers in Singapore, both men and women, are subject to forced labor through debts owed to recruitment agents, non-payment of wages, restrictions on movements, confiscated passports, and physical and sexual abuse. Although the government is still not in compliance with minimum standards for trafficking elimination, it has demonstrated some improvement in prevention and protection, but prosecutorial efforts have been weak. <*>

A government-mandated standard contract for migrant workers does not address issues such as long work hours, poor living conditions, and enforced confinement. Instead of guaranteeing one day off per month and a set number of rest hours per day, it makes such breaks a matter of negotiation between employer and employee. It also fails to provide protections against denial of annual or medical leave. Singapore is one of only nine countries that did not vote for passage of International Labour Organization (ILO) Convention No. 189 on Decent Work for Domestic Workers. <*>

Slums for Foreign Workers

In 2012, Andrew Loh wrote in Yahoo News, “It was a bright afternoon. The innocent-looking, pastel-coloured façade of the row of buildings was deceiving. The passageway was as dark as night. You could hardly see the steps on the stairs. On the second floor lies the narrow doorway to the dormitory. Step inside and you are met with a room packed with 20 double-decker beds, stacked so tightly together there is hardly room to even walk or move around. The absence of storage space, such as cupboards or shelves, means possessions are strewn anywhere and everywhere. Laundry is aired or dried inside the dormitory as well, given that there is also a lack of space outdoors for drying. Windows line one side of the wall but they hardly provide adequate ventilation. The room reeks of stale air. There are 40 migrant workers in this one room. [Source: Andrew Loh, Yahoo News, SingaporeScene, December 29, 2012 \*/]

“This writer visited 4 dormitories in the same area and they all average 30 to 40 beds in each dormitory. This is not uncommon, nor surprising, to those who work with migrant workers. The SMRT drivers who recently went on strike and complained about having to share their rooms with 7 other workers, by comparison, had it good! Their complaints sparked a flurry of reaction from relevant authorities suddenly keen to look into the living conditions of migrant workers, despite many years of non-governmental organisations and activists raising these same concerns. \*/

“Admittedly, as far as the living conditions of foreign workers are concerned, there have been some improvement – there are now more purpose-built dormitories, more serious enforcement of the rules, and employers have been taken to task by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) for failing to provide adequate housing for their workers. Nonetheless, one wonders if these employers are only doing what any employer would do when faced with the rising costs of doing business. \*/

“In 2009, the MOM said that “acceptable accommodation is now readily available in purpose-built dormitories and there is no excuse for employers to house their workers in unapproved housing.” But just earlier this month, concerns have been raised about the rising rents of dormitories, and how all 39 purpose-built dormitories are already fully occupied. The squeeze is exacerbated by the influx of more such migrant workers the last couple of years, putting a strain on infrastructure. The government allows factory space in industrial estates to be converted to dormitories but they should meet certain requirements or benchmarks. Just take a walk around any of these industrial estates and visit these dormitories.” \*/

Anger and Resentment Towards Foreign Workers in Singapore

Seah Chiang Nee wrote in The Star, “ The public is increasingly turning some of its anti-immigration resentment - rather unfairly - to foreign workers. This is predictable since it has affected local jobs and families. Singaporeans - once one of the world’s most obedient citizens – are both worried and angry despite recent government curbs and a cut-back on arrivals. [Source: Seah Chiang Nee, The Star, March 16, 2013]

Two recent instances show the extent of the emotions. In the first, a Tamil TV forum attended by Singaporean Indians as part of a national dialogue produced some heated comments seldom heard over any state-owned media. Commendably, the programme was allowed to be aired as a result of a more tolerant attitude towards the immigration controversy, probably as an emotional release. One by one, the speakers laid the blame of many things gone wrong on “foreign talents”, including taking jobs away from Singaporeans and causing the cost of living to rise. A well-dressed woman said: “Even Singaporeans are not taken care of. So who is going to take care of the foreigners”. Another said many of the new migrants “will run back to their respective countries if Singapore faces problems.” A gentleman commented, “As such I think it is good to set a limit for this economic growth.”

The second case was the recent opening of a Philippine fast-food branch here. It was marred by a boycott staged by Singaporeans who were incensed by the company hiring foreigners en masse in preference over Singaporeans. Organisers said they wanted to let businesses know that hiring foreigners ahead of locals are not welcomed here. On the opening day, however, there was a crowd of customers with many of them being Filipinos working here. Online both Singaporeans and Filipinos exchanged heated insults. This event brought out a side of Singaporeans seldom seen before. Traditionally they had always welcomed foreigners and mixed freely with them.

With a modern history of less than 50 years this migrant society is made up of off-springs of people who came from diverse lands to make it their home. Of late, however, the level of tolerance for foreigners has evidently declined. Tempers have grown shorter, at times provoked by some hot-headed foreigners. This mood may slow down the government’s efforts to make it a global city capable of attracting top talents from the world to work and settle here.

Foreign Workers and Politics in Singapore

The ruling People's Action Party is under pressure to restrict the number of foreigners seeking work in Singapore May 2011 parliamentary elections that saw the opposition make historic gains. Labor shortages mean the country has to rely on immigrant workers for many jobs. The unhappiness voiced by voters in the run-up to elections included competition for jobs and places in schools.

In February 2012, Associated Press reported: “The jump in foreign workers during the last decade has become a contentious political issue in the wealthy island of five million people, as workers from China, India and other Asian countries have swarmed into Singapore's growing economy looking for jobs. The ruling People's Action Party recorded its lowest percentage of the vote since independence in 1965 in Parliament elections in May. [Source: AP, February 18, 2012 *^*]

“Singapore doesn't have a minimum wage, and opposition parties argue foreign workers help keep salaries low, especially at the expense of poorer Singaporeans. The number of foreign workers has risen 7.5 percent each year for the last two years and they now account for a third of the city-state's work force, Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam said. *^*

“”The government has argued foreign workers do jobs Singaporeans won't and have been necessary to boost economic growth as the local population ages and birth rates decline. However, companies are now expected to boost productivity through investment in technology and worker training rather than relying on foreign workers, Tharman said.” *^*

Chinese Immigrants to Singapore

Many Chinese immigrants have come to Singapore to seek their fortune. Some are students seeking skills. Some are workers seeking high wages. Some are illegal workers doing construction jobs. Other are mothers seeking a good education for their children. They come from all over China. Chinese immigrants with university degrees and skills are welcomed by the Singaporean government partly to offset brain drain resulting from skilled Singapore workers and professional working abroad. Chinese immigrants have the advantage of being to blend in with the largely Chinese population and speak the same language of many people. But at the same time they also complain they are looked down upon.

Jamie Ee Wen Wei wrote in The Straits Times, “Groups of them started coming here in the 1970s, but they worked mostly in construction sites and factories. The influx started last year, when rules were relaxed to allow more men and women from China to work in service jobs. Previously, service-sector companies were told that only up to 45 percent of their employees could be foreigners on work permits, of which China workers were limited to 5 percent. From this year, companies can hire up to 50 percent foreigners, with Chinese nationals making up 10 percent. [Source: Jamie Ee Wen Wei. The Straits Times, April 20, 2008 ||||]

Many Chinese women that come to Singapore—some of them seeking an English education for their children—end up working as prostitutes or hostesses. A hostess can make about $30,000 a year. A prostitute working on her own can make much more. Chinese hostesses have largely displaced Filipina ones.

The Chinese writer Jiu Dan caused quite a stir with her novel Crows, which describes how Chinese women prostituted themselves, became mistresses and married men they didn’t like all as part of their quest for money and a Singaporean residency permit. The book sold 40,000 copies in Singapore and 300,000 official copies and 2 million bootleg copies in China.

Male Chinese Workers in the Singapore’s Service Industry

With hiring rules now relaxed, more fand more Chinese have come to Singapore with many of them ending working in foodcourts, malls and petrol kiosks.Jamie Ee Wen Wei wrote in The Straits Times, “As a general worker in a car assembly in Fujian province, Mr Zhang Guozhi earned a paltry $300 a month. So when he heard about opportunities in Singapore from his aunt, he withdrew his savings of $8,000 and paid an agent in China to help him find a job here. He arrived in February and was told to report for work at the foodcourt in People's Park Centre. For 12 hours a day and with only two days of rest a month, he clears tables for $850. It is a dirty job, but he shrugs it off. 'I can always wear gloves. It may be a dirty job but I'm using my hands for labour and there's no shame,' he said in Mandarin. [Source: Jamie Ee Wen Wei. The Straits Times, April 20, 2008 ||||]

“The 24-year-old bachelor grew up in a rural village in Sanming city. The second of three children, he finished high school and dabbled in various jobs. Coming to Singapore was a gamble, he said. What depresses him is that he will probably not be able to save enough to even cover the China agent's fees. Still, with almost two years left on his contract, he soldiers on. ||||

“Men from China like Mr Zhang are entering the service industry here in droves, working in malls, foodcourts and petrol stations. Unlike their female counterparts, who have made their presence felt here over the last 20 years or so in roles ranging from businesswomen and KTV lounge hostesses to mothers who accompany their children here to study, the men from China are only now starting to be more visible. The Ministry of Manpower and the Chinese Embassy were unable to say how many Chinese men were in service jobs, but the 15 employment agencies interviewed said they were sought after. Mr Matthew Sim, director of Your Manpower Agency, said that 80 percent of the China workers that he had placed with service-sector companies were men. ||||

“The men in service jobs are usually aged between 20 and 35 and recruited from provinces such as Fujian, Shandong and Jilin, where males are typically 'well-behaved' and 'big-size', said Ms Lim. They are often hired for laborious work as cleaners, kitchen helpers and petrol pump attendants, while the women work as shop assistants and waitresses. The 25 male workers interviewed said these service jobs were still a step up from working at building sites and factories. ||||

“Labour agents said money was a huge deciding factor for the men, since most were here to earn as much as possible before returning home in about two years' time. Mr Sim estimated that a factory worker could earn up to $1,200 a month while those in front-line service jobs took home $1,500. No specific skills are generally required of workers in the service line, whereas those in construction must have skills certification.” ||||

Experiences of Male Chinese Workers in the Singapore’s Service Industry

Jamie Ee Wen Wei wrote in The Straits Times, “Fujian native Chen Zhengliang, 25, first came to Singapore about five years ago as a general worker in a food factory. Before a year was up, he had returned to China as he could not take the 'low salary and long working hours'. He returned soon after and, for the past four years, has been working as a kitchen helper and coffee shop assistant in Chinatown. He earns about $1,300 and works a 12-hour shift. [Source: Jamie Ee Wen Wei. The Straits Times, April 20, 2008 ||||]

“Mr Zhang Qingrong, 26, described his job as a cleaner in OG People's Park as 'quite relaxing'. The Fujian native, who had worked in a copper factory in China before coming here four months ago, earns about $1,000 a month, almost triple his salary back home. He said of his work: 'It's not difficult. It's mostly sweeping and mopping the floor.' ||||

“Younger workers said the opportunity to 'see the world' and interact with others were added bonuses to venturing into service jobs. Waiter Zhang Zhongrui, 19, who has been working at St James' Power Station for six months, said he enjoyed meeting 'new and different' people. He made this observation about local and foreign customers: 'Singaporeans are well-mannered even when they are drunk. I've got foreigners, even people from China, who'll challenge me to fights when I accidentally bump into them.' ||||

“Shandong native Zhan Xiuhua, 30, a cleaner at AMK Hub, said he was surprised to find that his colleagues were in their 60s and 70s. 'In China, employers will hire only those in their 40s and below. But here, people can work until they are in their 60s or 70s. It's good in a way, but I don't understand why their children are not supporting them,' he said. ||||

“Many of the men are contracted to work for at least two years. They say that they are sometimes taken advantage of by their Singaporean employers. Mr Chen Zhengliang said his previous boss, a Singaporean, would cut his pay for no good reason. Supermarket assistant Yang Xuguo, 20, left Shandong province on the assumption that his Singapore employer would pay his rent. He was told otherwise when he arrived and now pays $180 a month for a room in a hostel shared with 15 foreign workers. 'The place is not even nice and there are bugs crawling around the room,' he said. Mr Duan Longtao, 39, another Shandong native, said China workers were often given the heaviest workload. He works as a road sweeper for $800 a month. ||||

“What bothers the men most, however, is how they are slighted by Singaporeans - and sometimes even their own countrymen. Mr Zhang Guozhi recalled how a Singaporean stall holder at the foodcourt he works in always extolled Singapore's virtues in his presence. 'He's always taunting me, asking me if I want leftover food. I know he despises me but I despise him too for his attitude,' he said bitterly. Waiter Zhang Zhongrui has met female customers from China at St James who throw their weight around the male servers from China. 'Some can be very demanding and behave in a high and mighty way. They expect you to do everything for them,' he lamented. ||||

“As a result, most of the men interviewed said they keep to themselves and their small circle of friends, all men from China. On their days off, which are rare for most, they stroll around the HDB neighbourhoods in which they live or visit places of interest such as the Esplanade and the Merlion. As they can barely speak English, many of their employers sign them up for basic English courses. ||||

“When asked if their female counterparts here had an easier life, most did not think so. A waiter, who wanted to be known only as Michael, 21, said: 'It's up to you to be hardworking and improve yourself.' The men were divided as to whether they would stay on in Singapore after their contracts expired. Mr Zhang Guozhi, however, has decided: 'I'm going home after two years. Who works 12 hours and rests for two days in a month? 'You can't earn all the money in this world. Health is more important.' ||||

Singapore’s Effort to Slow the Flow of Foreign Workers

In February 2012, Associated Press reported: “Singapore will seek to stabilise the number of foreign workers amid growing discontent about rising housing costs, crowded public transport and stagnant wages for low-income workers, a top minister said. The government will lower the percentage of foreign workers that manufacturing and service companies can employ and continue a four-year scheme to increase immigrant worker levies, Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam said in a budget speech. “We have to reduce our dependence on foreign labour. It's not sustainable. It will test the limits of our space and infrastructure. A continued rapid infusion of foreign workers will also inevitably affect the Singaporean character of our society,” he said. [Source: AP, February 18, 2012 *^*]

“The government is lowering the percentage of foreign workers that manufacturing companies can employ to 60 percent from 65 percent and services companies to 45 percent from 50 percent, Tharman said. “The easy availability of foreign labour reduces the incentives for companies to upgrade, design better jobs and raise productivity. Companies must adapt to the permanent reality of a tight labour market,” Tharman said. *^*

“To help soften the blow to small- and medium-sized businesses, the government will give a one-time cash grant of five percent of a company's revenue up to 5,000 Singapore dollars ($3,950) and will subsidise up to SG$60,000 of productivity and innovation investment and 90 percent of worker training costs, Tharman said. The cash grant and subsidies should offset the higher levies and stricter limits on foreign workers, said Allen Ang, managing director of Aldon Technologies, which provides parts and services to semiconductor companies. *^*

“It's true that some companies like to do a short-cut,” said Ang, who employs 70 workers, one-third of whom are from Malaysia and China. “If foreign labour is so easily available, why should they do something more troublesome to boost productivity? But now the government is forcing us to spend on innovation because the foreign labour isn't so cheap any more.” *^*

Singapore Tightens Rules for Hiring Foreigners

In August 2011, Reuters reported: “Singapore's government, facing complaints from residents having to compete with foreigners for jobs, tightened rules for firms hiring overseas workers in mid-level positions. Starting in January next year, a foreigner must earn S$3,000 ($2,493) or more a month before he can qualify for an employment pass that will let him work in Singapore. Singapore in July raised the minimum qualifying salary to S$2,800 from S$2,500. "Our aim is to avoid increasing dependence on foreign workers over the long term, by keeping the foreign share of the workforce at about one-third," the Ministry of Manpower said in a statement.[Source: Reuters, August 16, 2011]

“The changes will ensure that "as salaries of locals rise as they gain in experience and progress in their careers, they will not be disadvantaged by EP (employment pass) holders coming in at lower wages," the ministry added. People who do not qualify for employment pass can continue to work in Singapore but their employers will be subject to various quotas and levies. The rules do not affect those who hold permanent residency status. The tighter requirements for mid-level staff, which had been flagged by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong over the weekend, has already sparked complaints by employer groups such as the Singapore International Chamber of Commerce and Singapore Business Federation. [Ibid]

In May 2012, Janice Heng wrote in The Straits Times, “The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) is proposing swifter punishment, higher fines and longer jail terms for bosses who break the law in employing foreign workers. As foreign-labour policies are tightened, it said that employers could be tempted to get around the rules and, say, hire more foreign workers than allowed. This reduces job opportunities for Singaporeans and gives errant businesses an unfair advantage, it added. It also wants powers to forcibly enter and search company premises if it suspects wrongdoing. [Source: Janice Heng, The Straits Times, May 11, 2012 ^^]

“The plan to toughen the Act was first announced by Minister of State (Manpower) Tan Chuan-Jin MOM wants to raise penalties and introduce minimum fines for some offences. For instance, illegally employing foreign workers will incur a minimum fine of $5,000. There is no minimum fine now while the maximum fine may double to $30,000, from $15,000 now. All infringements of the Act are now deemed as criminal offences, but MOM plans to reclassify some less-serious offences as regulatory breaches. These do not require prosecution in court, so action can be taken more quickly. The proposed maximum penalty is $20,000 per breach, said MOM, which added that other moves - such as barring employers from getting work passes - may suffice as deterrents. ^^

“The ministry also proposes to make some offences - which are now lumped under offences of a more general type - stand-alone infringements. One such offence is making CPF contributions to 'phantom' local workers to artificially boost the number of home-grown staff, in order to be eligible to hire more foreigners. This will be a regulatory breach, subject to the standard $20,000 maximum penalty. Another is receiving kickbacks or bribes from foreign workers to get employed. It will be a criminal offence subject to a fine of up to $30,000, a jail term of up to 24 months, or both. Foreign workers will also face heavier penalties. That for working without a valid work pass may be raised to a fine of up to $20,000, up to 24 months in jail, or both. It is now a fine of up to $5,000, up to 12 months in jail, or both.” ^^

Work Permit Holders in Singapore Need to Pass English Proficiency Test

In December 2009, Channel News Asia reported: “Work permit holders in the retail, food & beverage, and hotel sectors will need to pass an English language proficiency test from the third quarter of next year in order to qualify for skilled levy status. This was announced by Minister of State for Manpower, Trade and Industry Lee Yi Shyan at the graduation of the first batch of foreign workers from a basic English course organised by the Migrant Workers Centre. [Source: Channel News Asia, December 3, 2009 /^/]

“Wayne Huang is one of the 40 graduates of the basic English course. The 29-year-old native from China, who is an assistant housekeeper at Hilton Hotel, said "practice makes perfect". Come the third quarter of next year, the service industry will see more workers like Mr Huang. Mr Lee said that employees would increasingly need to be able to communicate in English to be effective in their jobs. He said: "We want to encourage employers to look at it as building a more productive workforce, comprising both local and foreign workers. So if they look at it from that point of view, and if they look at how much better service they can provide, that should incentivise them to send the workers for the programme." /^/

“Employers will enjoy cost savings from the lower skilled workers levy which stands at S$150 a month compared to the unskilled levy of S$240. The CEO of NTUC Learning Hub, Zee Yoong Kang, said the hub is anticipating a two to three times increase in demand for English classes and is prepared to meet the demand by increasing its pool of teachers. Mr Zee said: "We have 80 trainers and we intend to increase the group to more than 100." /^/

Image Sources:

Text Sources: New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Times of London, Lonely Planet Guides, Library of Congress, Singapore Tourism Board, Compton’s Encyclopedia, The Guardian, National Geographic, Smithsonian magazine, The New Yorker, Time, Newsweek, Reuters, AP, AFP, Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic Monthly, The Economist, Foreign Policy, Wikipedia, BBC, CNN, and various books, websites and other publications.

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© 2008 Jeffrey Hays

Last updated June 2015

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