Percikan pikiran seorang ekonom.


Aris  Ananta

Untuk MLETIKO, 4 April 2010


Dengan angka kelahiran yang sudah jauh dibawah replacement level, yaitu suatu angka yang dapat menghasilkan jumlah penduduk yang konstan, Singapura menghadapi prospek penurunan jumlah penduduk, bila tidak mendapatkan migran dari negara lain. Replacement level   biasanya dicapai pada saat angka kelahiran total (TFR) sekitar 2,3. Padahal, angka kelahiran total di Singapura telah mencapai 1,1 di tahun 2010.

            Tidak mengherankan, Singapura telah memasukkan banyak migran, untuk membantu berbagai kegiatan perekonomian mereka. Bukan hanya migran yang berpenghasilan tinggi, tetapi juga migran yang berpendidikan –rendah dan berpenghasilan rendah. Mereka juga membutuhkan PLRT (Penata Laksana Rumah Tangga – pembantu rumah tangga), untuk mengurus anak anak, orang tua, dan mengurus rumah tangga. PLRT, khususnya dari negeri lain,  merupakan tenaga kerja murah, agar orangtua anak anak dapat bekerja keras mencari nafkah. Mereka juga sering mengerjakan pekerjaan, seperti membersihkan wc dan mencuci piring serta membersihkan meja makan di tempat makan umum,  yang tidak diinginkan oleh warga setempat.

            Jumlah migran ini mencapai kira kira 26 persen dari keseluruhan penduduk di Singapura tahun 2010. Jumlah ini tidak termasuk permanent residents. Pertumbuhan cepat terjadi selama 2000-2010. Tidak mengherankan, penduduk lokal kaget dengan perubahan ini. Sekarang, suasana “asing”, termasuk suasana “Indonesia” makin mudah terlihat di Singapura.

            Salah satu cara mereka untuk mengatasi “banjir” orang asing adalah mengurangi kebutuhan untuk PLRT. Mereka ingin agar orang Singapura dapat hidup tanpa PLRT, seperti yang terjadi di banyak negara maju seperti Amerika dan Australia.

            Berikut ini tajuk rencana The Straits Times, koran berbahasa Inggris di Singapura, yang sering membawakan suara pemerintah Singapura, yang memperlihatkan permasalahan yang dihapadi pemerintah Singapura.


The Straits Times (Singapore)

Monday, 4 April , 2011

Editorial: Rethinking A Man-Maid Conundrum

LAST week, a photograph of a young man dressed in army fatigues beingfollowed by a woman, presumably a maid, carrying his field pack sparked a fierce debate about a ‘softer’ generation of Singaporeans. Arguably, the young man’s transgression could affect the Singapore Armed Forces’ deterrence posture, built as it is on an image of steely
resilience. But as a Straits Times reader notes, the incident is also
an indictment of societal mores – the country’s dependence on maids
and foreign workers in general.

To a large extent, the hiring of maids makes economic sense. After all, it is cheap – or more accurately, cheaper than alternatives such as professional cleaners and childminders. But maids do not come without problems. Many younger Singaporeans are growing up being waited upon at home, do not do many household chores and, as some argue, are becoming less resilient and independent. There are also pragmatic considerations. Singapore’s supply of maids from countries such as Indonesia is drying up due to better pay packages being offered in places such as Taiwan and Hong Kong. Other sources such as Cambodia and Laos are being looked at, but in the long term, such sources will run dry too.

We are not advocating that Singaporeans slash their demand for maids overnight. But there should be some serious thought given to how demand can be reduced over time. For those who must have one, especially households with elderly parents or young children, it is better if it be made clear at the outset what the maid’s duties are and what they are not. For instance, children should be taught to make their own beds, prepare their own breakfasts and, in general, become more independent. It is when maids are expected to do everything and anything that the problem begins.

A parallel to maid hiring is found in the construction industry, where excessive  employment of foreign labour has led to a laggard sector in  terms of productivity. For maids, the issue has less to do with productivity, but more with the type of upbringing and values that need to be inculcated to a younger generation of Singaporeans too used
to having paid help at home. A reduced dependence on maids would lead to greater independence among Singaporeans; likewise, reducing demand for foreign labour in construction will improve productivity and create higher-value jobs that Singaporeans can aspire to. As controversial as it is, the field pack incident has provided
considerable grounds for some serious reflection. (*)

Tulisan terkait:

* Industri PLRT: pandangan Singapura

* Meningkatkan Kesejahteraan PLRT di Luar Negeri


Filed under: ageing, Bahasa Indonesia, Demography, economy, English, international migration, migration, , , , , , , ,

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