I am referring to the article “Measures proposed to strengthen support for SMEs” (22 Oct).

My impression is that the recommendations of the National Trade Union Congress and the Singapore National Federation of Employers seem to discriminate against foreign workers, especially those who have lived in Singapore for a long time.

I am a foreigner married to another foreigner and have been residing in Singapore since November of last year.

I volunteered for a social enterprise helping to create social impact in Singapore. But I have to find paid work in Singapore very soon.

The speech by Finance Minister Lawrence Wong to Parliament on how the idea that reducing the number of foreigners here will allow Singaporeans to automatically fill these jobs is wrong was inspiring (Singapore will lose investments and jobs if it puts the brakes on l hiring global companies: Wong, September 15).

His speech reflects the best ideals of Singaporean society.

However, the rhetoric does not reflect the reality faced by unemployed foreign dependents and students who are legally resident in Singapore for the long term.

It is difficult for them to find a job due to the recent change that requires dependent pass holders to obtain work passes if they want to work in Singapore.

I have found that overseas students residing in Singapore and overseas dependents whose overseas spouses work in Singapore are often rejected by employers despite their competitive qualifications.

The first question potential employers always ask is whether the applicants are Singapore citizens or permanent residents.

Saying no to this question usually disqualifies the candidate from getting a job.

Most employers don’t want to have to worry about getting a pass for a foreign employee, especially since it takes around two months for a pass to be issued.

Of the 1,029 Singapore job applications I have filed since November last year, I have had nine interviews, four of which started and ended with the question “are you a Singaporean or a resident?” permanent ”.

I understand the spirit of the government’s attempt to ensure that all Singaporeans have fair employment opportunities. I still believe the government and most Singaporeans are fair and reasonable.

Please give unemployed foreigners who are already legally long-term residents in Singapore a fair chance to secure paid employment based on merit and qualifications. A global hub cannot function without various foreign talents.

I believe that I can bring unique and immediate value to Singapore. I don’t want to leave Singapore and leave my partner alone in Singapore. And I keep hope.

Raymond Ong