Taiwanese auxiliary police officers in S'pore unwilling to work 13.5-hour days for S$2,675 salary: Taiwan media


Tanya Ong | March 17, 2019, 07:11 PM

The security industry is one of the most manpower-taxing industries out there in Singapore today.

Positions that cannot be adequately filled are sometimes outsourced to foreigners, such as Malaysians.

The assumption has been that even though such work might be tedious, it can still be scoped in a way that non-Singaporeans would not mind picking it up as long as the salary and benefits are commensurate to the tedium.

Taiwanese auxiliary police officers

But it appears it might even be difficult to retain Taiwanese auxiliary police officers (APOs) working in Singapore.

This is according to at least one Radio Taiwan International media report on March 15, 2019.

Taiwanese hired to fill roles in Singapore

Following a shortage of local manpower, private security firms in Singapore such as AETOS and Certis CISCO, looked to recruit APOs from Taiwan from late 2016 to early 2017.

Before that, both firms traditionally only hired Singaporeans and Malaysians.

Certis CISCO was reportedly recruiting Taiwanese graduates on a two-year contract basis and paying a salary of S$2,675 per month.

Air-conditioned accommodation was also offered.

In response to this, plenty of young Taiwanese rushed to apply for the job.

Do not wish to extend contract

After undergoing training, the first batch of Taiwanese APOs were deployed in Singapore in mid-2017.

According to the RTI report, many Taiwanese APOs in Singapore felt that this job offered a stable source of income that would allow them to save a decent sum within a short period.

This is in comparison to Taiwan, where the average starting salary of a Taiwanese graduate ranges between S$1,000 to S$1,500.

However, despite this stability, some Taiwanese APOs reportedly do not want to continue working once their contract expires.

Work too tough for some

Some of the Taiwanese APOs believe that the work in Singapore is too tough, according to RTI.

Here, they are deployed to Woodlands and Tuas checkpoints.

And unlike APOs working in the airport or in air-conditioned buildings, working at checkpoints require them to stand under the hot sun every day.

They claimed that the work is physically exhausting, given that they need to constantly conduct vehicle inspections.

In addition, they also highlighted how their salary is disproportionate to their long hours, given how they supposedly work 13.5-hour long days.

No attrition rate for the Taiwanese APOs were cited, and the report appears anecdotal.

How to understand this revelation

This is not a matter of whether Singaporeans or Taiwanese are not tough enough to take up these auxiliary police jobs.

Rather, it is the tough nature of border protection and being constantly exposed to the elements, which are aspects of the vocation frequently overlooked by regular people.

Top photo via Wikipedia.