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Can Dentsu’s MOM campaign change MP Ong Ah Heng’s views on hiring silver-hair workers?

Dentsu Singapore recently launched Ministry Manpower’s campaign to promote the value of older workers.

Unfortunately, the Singapore social media scene is still still coming to grips on a statement made by Member of Parliament Ong Ah Heng’s comment in parliament on his decision to replace older workers with younger foreigners at his town council.

Wrote Marketing-Interactive,

The new through-the-line campaign launched by the Ministry of Manpower aims to put across the message that older workers have a lifetime of experience to offer employers.

Developed by Dentsu Singapore, the campaign features four real-life talents from various vocations to underline the value of experience and maturity at the workplace…

…"The potential of the silver industry is often under-rated. But when you look at someone like Mr. Kunalan (former sprint champion featured in the campaign), you are immediately drawn to his air of confidence, wisdom and purpose which is very inspirational.  We're delighted at the opportunity to create this campaign that will help shape perceptions across the working population" said Fred Eng, group business director of Dentsu Singapore.

A month ago, MP Ong Ah Heng was quoted to have said in parliament on his reason for hiring foreign workers to replace local workers in his estate.

I know of one family who complain the cleaners in their precinct are lazy and too old. They don’t want local workers who are old, they want young foreign workers. To satisfy the demand, I changed the local workers to foreign workers. Foreign workers are not a burden to us. Their presence here is not negative. Without foreign workers, things will be worse.

Blogger DK wrote in response to the comment, “Mr Ong Ah Heng should be ashamed of himself for making such statement in Parliament.

“Has he ever questioned why the senior citizen have to work as cleaners instead of enjoying their retirement? Does he know that these senior citizen have contributed to the development of Singapore when they were younger?

“Why isn’t the country taking care of them when they are old? Is this how the Government treat it’s citizens who had contributed to the country? Replace them with foreign workers when they grow old.”

Wrote Callan Tan for The Online Citizen,

Is Mr Ong implying that local older workers are the burden instead? This goes far beyond inarticulate speech or political incorrectness. This is an insult to the elderly who have built this nation on the back of their hard work. This reflects the hubris that Mr Ong, a 66-year old himself, has uncoyingly betrayed. In one broad stroke, he painted the elderly as lazy and unproductive and patted himself on the back for his display of ruthlessness. He is proud of it.

One has to wonder what Dentsu’s KPIs are.


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