Since the rallies started last June, with a throng of residents protesting about a controversial bill that would for the first time ever permit suspects to be extradited to mainland China to face trial, tension has now escalated in Hong Kong with police resorting to tear gas and rubber bullets to ward off unruly demonstrators. The financial hub in the heart of the city has been greatly affected by the Hong Kong protests because majority of the activists targeted the prime area of the Hong Kong banking sector to ensure maximum impact and publicity for their renegade efforts.
On top of that, the activists have wrecked havoc in the Mass Transit Railway or the MTR. They deliberately kept the train doors open during the morning rush hour. This resulted in the longer lines and some heated altercations between the commuters and protesters. The crippling of the mass transit system adversely impacted the daily lives of millions of residents in this bustling metropolitan city.
More Intense and Destructive Activities of Hong Kong Protests
The political activists have become more daring as they boosted their demonstration efforts. They have resorted to larger, more intense, and more destructive activities to pressure their leaders and focus attention to their demands. As a result, the residents have been scared and some workers have noted that they were advised by their managers to stay at home and work from there for the time being because the streets are unsafe.
There is black cloud of negativity looming over the city with unstable conditions that have halted flights, tourism and impeded that usual busting financial flurry in the Hong Kong banking sector. Being a part of the ASEAN community, the riots in Hong Kong have affected the job market in Singapore.
The two countries are inextricably linked with many Singaporeans working in the Hong Kong financial center. With their security on the line, these Singaporeans have entertained the thought of going back to their motherland because it has become much harder to make a decent living in Hong Kong with all the destruction caused by the protesters.
What Singaporeans in Hong Kong are Saying
One Singaporean citizen, who has been residing in Hong Kong for three years now, said that he has been worried every single day on his way to work since the political demonstrations. He has been keeping a watchful eye on the news, especially traffic details, as it has the capacity to impact his commute. On top of that, he is keen on avoiding areas where the demonstrations are rampant. He noted that because of the pitiful turn of events, he has been considering moving back to Singapore.
In the same token, a Singaporean woman, who has been working in Singapore for over five years in a multinational banking company, said that this the rallies have been a huge slap on the face. Hong Kong has always been a secure and safe place to live. Never in her wildest dreams did she think that the situation will escalate into something of this magnitude. She said her usual 15 minutes bus ride to work now takes an hour long, and she could never be at peace while inside the bus.
Another guy working in the finance sector said he has been actively looking for jobs in Singapore because he needs a back up plan should things continue to escalate. There seems to be no resolution in sight and going on to live with this kind of uncertainty is very stressful to say the least. He has been on the look out for professional jobs in Singapore that match his skill set. Thankfully, the strong economy of his mother country has been robust through out the years, so he is fairly confident that he can find something and make the big move soon before things get even more out of hand.
Worrying about Violence and Tear Gas in HK Banking District
With clashes and confrontations between the police and the protesters happening on a daily basis, many residents have halted their activities. Some stopped making plans with their family and friends because anything untoward can happen. The risk of going out of the house now remains tremendous, and it is not just worth the hassle. Even the commute to work is fraught with worry, keeping nerves frayed and tempers on the edge ready to flare up and explode.
Many Singaporeans working in Hong Kong now worry about violence on their way to or from work, especially since the financial banking district is a prime target. Before, it was enough to avoid the main protest areas to keep safe and sound. Unfortunately, with the recent developments, protests are sprouting in different areas and happening during the rush hour commute. They do not know where the next protest will be, and the constant worry on how the protesting will evolve to impact their lives has caused them their peace of mind.
On top of that, many of the Singaporeans expressed their concern because it seems that the police has no qualms about releasing their deadly tear gas. They do not take into account the area or neighbourhood when they unleash the toxic gas. It seems that the primary goal is to just disperse the protesters as quickly as possible, without the thought of possible collateral damage that can be inflicted on the innocent citizens in the nearby areas.
Current Job Market in Singapore
Thankfully, the current Singapore economy is growing strong with numerous infrastructure projects, implementation of laws that are favourable to businessmen, encouraging of global exchanges, and more. Changi, the Singapore international airport alone boasts of being the best in the world, with all its many amenities and frequent upgrades. There are millions of visitors to the country each year both for tourism and business.
There are many different industries in Singapore from construction, healthcare, finance, banking, media and communications, hospitality, and more. On top of that, there is a strong expatriate community because there are numerous multinational corporations that have chosen this small country as their home base. Any Singaporean looking to make a transfer from Hong Kong will find a robust job market that will accommodate their expertise and provide their needs.
Noteworthy, the IT or information technology hub is given much emphasis because they are seen as the gateway to the future. Currently, they IT industry in SG is on par with the rest of the world, but their goal is to surpass many other countries by leaps and bound. The IT sector is growing consistently strong and the government strongly supports this segment with tender worth two point two billion Singaporean dollars.
Firms Looking to Leave Hong Kong and Transfer to SG
In the past, the massive wealth of the HK business moguls, along with their autonomy from the Chinese mainland, has made Hong Kong an attractive and central base for many international conglomerates. The small territory has historically been a hub that was seen to be as a bridge for the east and the west.
However, with the British Commonwealth handing over the territory back to the mainland, there has been a brewing unrest that has caused many firms to look elsewhere. With the more daring protests now, the status quo is being threatened. No one can blame companies for wanting to leave Hong Kong and setting their sights on to the more peaceful and nearby Singapore that has generally the same common law system.
With violence and unrest in major areas of the financial district in Hong Kong, managers of the top corporations are fearful for their employees safety. With the cloud of instability looming in the town and looming over a long-term horizon, the productivity levels of companies in Hong Kong are strongly affected. As a result, many of these companies are talking about hedging their bets and prospects in a safe and more reliable country like Singapore.
With the talks of moving their operations in Singapore, the job market will definitely improve along with the country’s economy. Take the time to read more information on the Singapore job industries at futurework.sg, which is a leading site on current market trends and employment opportunities. Upload your CV so that headhunters can get a head start in finding you a job in Singapore.
The Impact of the Hong Kong Protests on the Singapore Job Market